Through their technological and commercial uses, collagen peptides – also named collagen hydrolysates – are versatile in their applications and play an important role in modern health programs. Their purity and neutral taste make collagen peptides valuable ingredients for functional foodstuffs, nutraceutical applications or nutricosmetics. Just like gelatin, collagen peptides are pure collagenous proteins; however, they are not able to gel.
The primary areas of collagen applications are:
- Bone and joint health
- Beauty-from-Inside and topical cosmetics
- Weight control
- Healthy ageing
- High protein diets / Sports nutrition
- Animal health
What are collagen peptides?
Collagen peptides are a white, odourless powder that is neutral in taste and highly soluble in cold liquids. It emulsifies, foams, adds consistency and binds. Similar to gelatin, collagen peptides are derived from Type I collagen through a hydrolysis process. This is the same type of collagen that can be found in human skin and bone.
Protein makes up 97 per cent of this natural product. On a dry basis, collagen peptides contain a total of 18 amino acids, including 8 of the 9 essential amino acids.
The amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline are the most prevalent in collagen peptides, making up 50 per cent of its total amino acid content.
This special mix of amino acids gives collagen peptides several functional properties.
What makes collagen peptide so unique?
The most important properties of collagen peptides are its unparalleled benefits for the health and care sectors.
This is why it has become a key ingredient in the functional foodstuff (beverages, dietary supplements) and cosmetic industries.
The benefits of collagen peptides for health and beauty have been confirmed and recognized for years.
Scientific studies have shown that 10 grams a day or even less have a positive effect on joint, bone and skin health.
Collagen peptides have been subject to scientific research and have been shown to be free of adverse side effects. It can simply be integrated into the conventional manufacturing process of the respective product.
How does it differ from gelatin?
In contrast to gelatin, collagen peptides have not been shown to have gelling capabilities. This is due to its low molecular weight. From a technical standpoint, this is a critical distinction: gelatin is made up of relatively long chains of amino acids, collagen peptides out of short chains (which are known as peptides). The latter enables a very high degree of biological availability since small peptides can be taken up by the bloodstream through the intestinal wall.
Its shorter peptide chains keep collagen peptides from establishing cross-links, which are necessary for gelling. For this reason, collagen peptides can simply be dissolved in cold water and does not first require swelling and heating. This has no effect on its other properties, such as emulsification, binding or foaming.
Collagen peptides are pure collagenous protein that is derived from animal sources. Collagen peptides are extracted from animal tissue that is rich in collagen. All raw materials come from animals that have been approved fit for human consumption and that meet all regulatory requirements for the manufacturing of gelatin and collagen peptides.
The polypeptides contained in the raw material are treated using a gentle, enzymatic process until the peptides have reached the desired molecular weight. Depending on enzymes and hydrolyzation conditions used, final products can further differ regarding e.g. molecular weight distribution or other parameters. Then the liquid hydrolysate is spray-dried and then either agglomerated, partially agglomerated or not agglomerated – which makes collagen peptides suitable for a wide variety of diverse formulations.
Premium raw materials – Quality and safety are the top priority.
Collagen peptides are a healthy and safe ingredient. GMAP and GROW gelatin manufacturers worldwide only use premium quality raw materials and control the product quality throughout their multi-stage manufacturing process.
Traditionally, collagen peptides are manufactured from pork skin, cattle split and fish skin. The raw materials are obtained from licensed slaughterhouses and fish farms in which all animals are examined by veterinarians. The conventional slaughter, control and approval procedures guarantee that the raw materials used for collagen peptides have been approved for human consumption.
This means that all raw materials are subject to continuous and rigorous checks concerning safety and origin. The same laws apply as for gelatin, with identical legal and safety factors.
As regards their safety, collagen peptides are one of the most rigorously examined foodstuffs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission for Health and Consumer Protection have confirmed collagen peptides’ safety based on international research findings.