Knox gelatin is made from collagen. Like other types of gelatin, this collagen is obtained from animal bones, skin and connective tissue. Unflavored gelatin powder has no additives and is essentially pure protein.
Knox gelatin doesn't have any specific reported health benefits. The benefits of gelatin and collagen are still being researched.
Read more: 16 Foods Dietitians Won't Touch
Knox Gelatin Nutrition and Uses
Gelatin is an essential ingredient in many types of food. It is always produced from animal- or fish-based sources. It's usually made from pork bones and skin.
You may already be aware that gelatin is the main ingredient in Jell-O. However, gelatin is a very versatile food additive. You can use plain gelatin to make whipped creams, mousse, custards, soufflés, marshmallows and a variety of other desserts.
Knox gelatin is sold as unflavored gelatin powder. According to the company website, there are no fats or carbohydrates in gelatin. A single tablespoon (7 grams) of Knox gelatin has 20 calories and 6.4 grams of protein. This amount of plain gelatin can thicken 2 cups of liquid.
The USDA says that plain gelatin powder contains very few essential nutrients. A tablespoon of gelatin has 17 percent of the daily value (DV) for copper and 5 percent of the DV for selenium. You'll also find trace amounts of other nutrients in gelatin, like B-complex vitamins.
People who don't consume animal products may want to avoid products like Knox gelatin. Instead, they can consume plant-based alternatives like agar-agar, pectin or carrageenan.
Health Benefits of Plain Gelatin
Knox gelatin is just like any other unflavored gelatin powder. You may have heard of health benefits being attributed to this food additive.
Because gelatin comes from collagen, people often think that consuming gelatin can help boost your body's collagen production. Some consume bone broth for the same reason. According to Harvard Health Publishing, dietary collagen consumption is often thought to:
- Help relieve joint pain
- Improve skin appearance and health
- Support digestion
- Strengthen bones
- Prevent bone and joint diseases
Unfortunately, Harvard Health says that these claims have little scientific evidence. Although your body's collagen production does affect the health of your skin, joints and bones, dietary collagen consumption can't help counteract or prevent most issues with these areas.
According to an April 2015 review in the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, this is because the collagen you consume needs to pass through your digestive tract, then be absorbed into your bloodstream before it can have any effects on your health. This means very little of the collagen you consume is likely to be absorbed into your body.
However, dietary collagen may still have certain health benefits. This same review discussed how the consumption of porcine collagen may improve skin elasticity.
So far, only limited benefits have been seen following the consumption of collagen or gelatin. Most benefits have occurred after the application of collagen-based skincare products.
More studies are required before the exact health benefits of gelatin or collagen can be determined. This ingredient may even need to be combined with other nutrients to be useful.
A small November 2016 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that gelatin enriched with ascorbic acid might be able to increase collagen synthesis. This could mean that vitamin C combined with gelatin could promote tissue repair.
- Knox: "Knox Unflavored Gelatine"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Gelatin"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "What's the Scoop on Bone Soup?"
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "Vitamin C–Enriched Gelatin Supplementation Before Intermittent Activity Augments Collagen Synthesis"
- Annual Review of Food Science and Technology: "Collagen and Gelatin"