The difference between gelatin, collagen, hydrolyzed collagen, and collagen peptide

- Aug 14, 2018 -

The difference between gelatin, collagen, hydrolyzed collagen, and collagen peptide


Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, accounting for 25% to 30% of the total protein. It is widely found in all tissues from the surface of lower vertebrates to the body of mammals. The collagen monomer is a long cylindrical protein with a length of about 280 nm and a diameter of 1.4 to 1.5 nm. It is made up of three polypeptide chains intertwined with each other in a supercoiled form.


Gelatin is a denatured product of collagen under high temperature. Its composition is complex and its molecular weight distribution is wide. Due to the high temperature, collagen is denatured, and the three-stranded helical structure of collagen molecules is destroyed. However, some α-chain helix chains may still exist. Therefore, a certain concentration of gelatin solution can be gelatinized. It is widely used in the food, industrial, photography and pharmaceutical industries. According to reports, 65% of the gelatin products produced worldwide each year are used in the food industry, 20% in the photographic industry and 10% in the pharmaceutical industry.


Collagen peptide is obtained by hydrolyzing collagen or gelatin with protease at a higher temperature. By the dual action of temperature and enzyme, the relative molecular mass of collagen is smaller than that of gelatin. Since the hydrolysis of collagen peptide bonds by proteases is random under higher temperature conditions, the composition of the protein solution obtained by hydrolysis is also complicated. It is a mixture of protein polypeptides with molecular masses ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Because of its small molecular weight and easy degradation of collagen, it has a certain market for the development of nutraceuticals and daily chemicals.


There is a difference between collagen peptide and hydrolyzed collagen. The molecular weight of collagen peptide is about 3000, but the molecular weight of hydrolyzed collagen is between 3,000 and 100,000. Because hydrolysis is divided into high temperature thermal hydrolysis, enzymatic hydrolysis, acid-base hydrolysis, enzymatic hydrolysis can cut the peptide chain into small molecules, but thermal hydrolysis and acid-base hydrolysis are not so complete. Therefore, hydrolyzed collagen may be a collagen peptide, but the collagen peptide is not necessarily hydrolyzed collagen. 


They have a very similar amino acid composition and content. Due to the disintegration of macromolecules and the decrease in molecular weight, their solubility increases and they are soluble in cold water. It is precisely because of the large decrease in molecular weight and the sharp increase in water solubility that the hydrolyzate is easily absorbed and utilized by the skin of the human body. Compared with macromolecular collagen, collagen hydrolysate is a more ideal source of supplementation. By absorbing collagen hydrolysate, the body replenishes and repairs abnormal collagen to make it function normally, and the human body recovers.


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