It’s Made Up Almost Entirely of Protein
Gelatin is 98–99% protein. However, it’s an incomplete protein because it doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids. Specifically, it does not contain the essential amino acid tryptophan. Yet this is not an issue, because you are unlikely to eat gelatin as your sole source of protein. It’s also easy to get tryptophan from other protein-rich foods.
Here are the most abundant amino acids in gelatin from mammals:
- Glycine: 27%
- Proline: 16%
- Valine: 14%
- Hydroxyproline: 14%
- Glutamic acid: 11%
The exact amino acid composition varies depending on the type of animal tissue used and the method of preparation. Interestingly, gelatin is the richest food source of the amino acid glycine, which is particularly important for your health.
Studies have shown that, although your body can make it, you won’t usually make enough to cover your needs. This means it’s important to eat enough in your diet. The nutrient content of the remaining 1–2% varies, but consists of water and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like sodium, calcium, phosphorus and folate.
Yet, generally speaking, gelatin is not a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Rather, its health benefits are a result of its unique amino acid profile.
Gelatin is made of 98–99% protein. The remaining 1–2% is water and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Gelatin is the richest food source of the amino acid glycine.