What is gelatin?

While most of us don’t think of gelatin as a meat or dairy food, it actually is an animal byproduct. Gelatin is obtained from the collagen of various animal body parts. It is derived by boiling parts such as bones, ligaments, skin, and tendons in water. Although gelatin can be gleaned from many different animals including fish, cows and pigs are by far the most common source.

As a vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to check labels on the foods and supplements you’re considering for hidden ingredients. Even nutritional supplements that advertise themselves as vegan can potentially contain animal byproducts if the gelatin is animal-based. A plant-based substitute made from seaweed, called agar-agar, can achieve the same results as gelatin and still be vegan.

What is gelatin in?

So what should you look out for? What are some of the products that may contain the non-vegan gelatin? It’s easy to see that jello is made with gelatin, but there are less obvious foods that can have it as well. Look for it specifically in foods that have a chewy texture. Some good examples of this are marshmallows, peeps, skittles, and gummy bears. All chewy foods that, unless explicitly labeled as 100% vegan, may contain gelatin derived from animal sources.

Another not-so-obvious place to find gelatin is in vitamin and mineral supplements. Because it has a smooth, easily dissolved texture, gelatin is very often used to provide the coating on the outside of pills. It is used to make the capsules that encase certain medications and supplements as well.

How to avoid gelatin

What’s the point of making strides toward healthy living and becoming a vegan if you’re just going to get hidden forms of animal products in your supplements? Fortunately, you have a choice.

Vibrant Nutraceuticals guarantees that all of our products are 100% vegan, and that includes the casing on the outside. You can enjoy vitamins without gelatin, and still get the nutritional boost you need.

Our high quality supplements are organic, plant-based, and easily absorbed. Read more about the benefits of truly vegan vitamins on the product pages of our website.