GELITA attended SupplySide West and sponsored a “Collagen Café” to demonstrate the many ways collagen peptides add functional benefits and premium value to everyday foods. 

Collagen is considered one of the most versatile and important ingredients in modern health and nutrition markets—including its use in functional foods. Although collagen is largely known for its benefits to the human body—ranging from skin health to strength in tendons and ligaments—its use is more commonly associated with nutritional supplements. 

Collagen, however, lends itself beautifully and easily to countess food applications across multiple daily eating or drinking opportunities—and its true potential in food remains largely unexploited and virtually unlimited. 

At a Collagen Café, industry professionals could sample typical foods and beverages all fortified with health-promoting doses of collagen. 

Healthy Start to the Day

For breakfast, consumers often turn to yogurt as a protein source, or simply as an alternative to relatively unhealthy breakfast foods such as high sugar cereals, muffins or even doughnuts. Collagen lends itself particularly well to yogurt and other dairy applications, where in these fermented products (or even alcoholic beverages) collagen peptides—in concentrations up to 5%—do not negatively affect the fermentation process. The combination of collagen peptides with ferments reveals excellent sensorial profile and texture, with the benefit of additional protein and the added advantages of collagen.

Soups, Sides and even Spreads! 

For heartier meals like lunch or dinner—where soup is a convenient and satisfying choice, collagen peptides are an ideal addition. Soups are an excellent carrier for collagen fortification as collagen peptides are highly soluble and heat stable. As an additional benefit, collagen peptides also offer flavor-enhancing properties. This means that concentrations of salt, spices and other additives often found in soup or soup mixes can be substantially reduced without compromising the expected flavor profile.

As a novel idea for lunch, dinner or snack time, condiments can also be interesting ways to incorporate healthy doses of collagen peptides. In Dijon mustard, for example, collagen acts as an emulsifier while improving mouthfeel and texture and event reducing fat content. Collagen also can be a beneficial inclusion to sauces, dressings and spreads for its excellent emulsification properties that support reduced-fat formulations.

Healthy Snacking, Sweets

Following the development of the protein and cereal bar market, collagen peptides—aside from increasing the protein and collagen values in bars—feature amazing adhesive properties that enable effective binding of dry ingredients, allowing for the reduction of sugars that are typically used for as binders in bars. In bar manufacturing the GELITA® Collagen Peptides portfolio offers a wide range of possibilities to produce bars with different and special textures. 

As fortified confectionery is also trending, collagen makes the perfect addition to beloved gelatine-based candies, like gummies. However, in functional candies, it is often a difficult task to process large quantities of collagen proteins into the final product – ideally without the time-consuming conversion of existing production processes and machinery. 

However, by using GELITA’s HST (Hybrid Smart Technology) peptides and a recipe adapted to high protein levels, clear fruit gummies with a protein content of up to 35% can be made on a standard mogul production line. This is something not currently possible with conventional powder products.

Wash it all Down: Beverages

Whether coffee, hot chocolate, sports drinks, near waters, dairy-based shakes or other beverage options, collagen peptides can be used in concentrations up to 25%. In liquid applications collagen peptides are clear soluble compared to other proteins. They can be used over a wide range of concentrations and pH without loss of quality and performance. 

At low-protein concentrations all collagen peptides show almost the same low viscosity, independent from average molecular weight (or degree of hydrolysis). With increasing concentrations, the viscosity increases, from watery to syrup like liquids. With collagen peptides it is possible to adapt individual mouthfeel and texture!

The Body’s Protein

As collagen is the most abundant protein found in humans and collagen peptides effectively support metabolic turnover, they are an ideal source of protein for maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissue, bones, joints, skin, muscles, ligaments and tendons. These scientifically proven nutritional and physiological advantages have been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies and trials. 

Of the human body’s total protein content, collagen accounts for 30%. When desiring to effectively improve health and wellbeing at any age, high quality collagen proteins are important tools. Optimized Bioactive Collagen Peptides® have proven themselves useful in addressing many age-related health issues, including protein malnutrition, joint, muscle, tendon, ligament and bone conditions, and loss of skin vitality.  

GELITA offers a versatile portfolio of different collagen peptides classified as Bioactive Collagen Peptides® which are optimized for a specific life science solution like FORTIGEL® for Joint Health, TENDOFORTE® for Tendons & Ligaments, BODYBALANCE for Body Toning and VERISOL® for Beauty from Within…and more. Aside from Bioactive Collagen Peptides®, GELITA offers PEPTIPLUS® for protein enrichment and food technological purposes.

What Exactly are Collagen Peptides?

Collagen peptides are short chain protein building blocks produced by hydrolysis of native collagen. Depending on the applied enzymatic process, a characteristic pattern of collagen fragments will be generated. These peptides are defined and classified by their structure, average molecular weight distribution and peptide profile. 

Collagen peptides are delivered as agglomerated or fine powder. Both powder forms show excellent blending properties. Agglomerated powders offer the advantage of an improved solubility behavior, due to its coarse powder structure. In food processing, agglomerated powders offer various advantages such as rapid dissolution, no lump formation, dust-free handling, excellent flowability without cohesion or clogging and exceptional stability. 

More than Meets the Eye

As they are partially hydrolyzed, GELITA’s collagen peptides are readily absorbed by the body and are easily digestible as well as highly bioavailable. They are free from fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates and gluten, and do not contain purines. They are also non-allergenic and contain no E-numbers (important for products marketed in Europe, for example), so they are ideal for the development of clean label foods and beverages.

Beyond the key criteria of being tasty, healthy and natural, formulators and marketers consider several key aspects when developing and marketing functional foods and beverages, particularly when targeting different age groups. Ingredient solubility is paramount. Texture and mouthfeel are also critical. And, finally, as the main purpose of a functional beverage is to provide the consumer with a health benefit, it is particularly important for product developers to use proven ingredients with scientifically substantiated efficacy.  

Efficacious collagen peptides deliver the requirements for the development of tasty foods and beverages with high consumer appeal. With technological properties such as high solubility, heat and acid stability, low viscosity and no precipitation or clumping, they also offer fast absorption and high bioactivity. GELITA manufactures these collagen peptides according to precise enzymatic hydrolysis process, resulting in consistently high-quality products. 


The intake of sufficient quantities of water each day is crucial for health and physical well-being. Additionally, as a result of hectic lifestyles, there is an increasing demand for supplementary nutrients that help to maintain healthy and balanced nutrition. Beverage and food formulators are becoming progressively aware of the importance of certain proteins. One of the most interesting and versatile proteins is collagen. 

Scientifically proven collagen peptides have positive effects on every collagen-containing part of the human body. As such, products fortified with collagen peptides are perfect vehicles for delivering a variety of natural health benefits. Offering excellent technological properties, they are easy to formulate and allow the development of tasty and nutritious foods and beverages for diverse groups of consumers. 

For practical applications, collagen’s performance in the final product is strongly influenced by the nature and quality of the other ingredients as well as by the individual production parameters related to specific production lines. GELITA supplies a wide-ranging collagen peptide portfolio to meet individual specifications and to achieve optimal results. Along the entire development chain, technological experts at GELITA are available to offer professional advice as well as reformulation support and on-site technical service.

Learn more about GELITA and its diverse portfolio for use in food or beverages at