“What’s the Difference? Fish Gelatin vs. Porcine Gelatin vs. Beef Gelatin?”
Different versions of this question are some of the most common inquiries we get.
Apart from usage for specific dietary restrictions, pork and beef gelatin are nearly identical. Both for clear gels, and both have melting points between 95-100 degrees fahrenheit. Both are sourced similarly with the exception of kosher beef gelatin, and both are available in different strengths, or ‘blooms.’
Fish gelatin, however, has a much lower melting temperature than beef or pork gelatin, melting at 75 to 80 degrees. Fish gelatin is more readily available as a kosher product, and it’s similar to a high quality silver gelatin with a 250 bloom. Because of that kosher availability, it’s a common ingredient in kosher gummy candies, marshmallows, and other confections.
Each of these gelatins are similar in that they’ll make a clear gel that’s fairly unflavored on its own, require blooming (steeping in hot water) for most recipes, and can form melt-in-your-mouth products.
Don’t write off fish gelatin as an alternative ingredient. The low melting point of fish gelatin can create a fantastic food experience.
The temperature at which a gelatin melts is important – and it’s good and bad news depending on the weather.
First, this means that fish gelatin confections can start to melt while being served if you’re outside on a fairly hot day.
Second, this means that fish gelatin will release its flavor more by quickly melting in your guests’ mouth faster.
This faster ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ capability of fish gelatin means that any confection made with fish gelatin can seem more flavorful.
The ‘best’ gelatin depends on your recipe, desired product, and the guests you’re creating for – but fish gelatin is certainly worth experimenting with for melt-in-your-mouth gummy candies and flavorful gels.
Thanks for your question!
Chef Scott Guerin
Modernist Pantry is here to help professional and home chefs transform food. We’re honored so many of you reach out to our test kitchen for problem solving and inspiration. Have a question? Ask a chef!