Collagen is a family of proteins that occurs in the bones, muscles, organs, and blood of animals, particularly in the connective tissues of mammals. It comprises about a third of all proteins in the body, including 75% of skin, and keeps joints healthy while also maintaining skin elasticity. Collagen constitutes approximately 25% of the proteins in vertebrate species, and 27 types have been identified. As people age, their bodies stop producing enough collagen and many begin to take collagen supplements, which generally come in powdered form, though they are also available as capsules and liquid supplements

Collagen peptides result from a process called hydrolyzation, which breaks the protein down into a powder to make it more bioavailable, allowing easier absorption into the bloodstream. Commonly found in gelatin desserts and gummy candies, one common type of processed collagen, gelatin, undergoes a partial hydrolysis process. Yet because gelatin has a higher molecular weight, cannot dissolve in water, and is less easy to digest, manufacturers of collagen supplements focus on fully hydrolyzed collagens. Additionally, because collagen peptide powder more easily absorbs into the body, they are far easier to use as dietary supplements.

The Collagen Peptide Manufacturing Process

Waste products from the processing of animals for food, leather, or other purposes account for much of the material used in the collagen peptide manufacturing process. Extracted collagen peptide powder comes mainly from larger animals like cows, pigs, and horses, though it can be extracted from the waste of any vertebrate, including fowl and fish. When it comes to food or nutritional supplements, the collagen peptide manufacturing process uses gelatin, which is broken down through further hydrolyzation into collagen peptide powder.  

To reduce collagen from its raw form into a functional state that can be used for foods, beverages, and supplements, collagen must be reduced to a very fine powder. The collagen peptide manufacturing process reduces this biological material and extracts the peptides through various methods, depending on the raw material and end product. Making collagen peptides powders through hydrolyzation involves the following processes for animal bones and skins, though processing bone is more complex.

Extracting collagen peptides for bones involves: 

  • Degreasing, drying, and crushing bone through a milling or grinding process that prepares the raw material for treatment.
  • Soaking bones with acid, in order to demineralize them, results in a brittle material called ossein.
  • Washing this ossein with water removes impurities and neutralizes pH. 
  • Subjecting ossein to secondary acid treatment and hot water wash helps extract collagen or make it water-soluble. 
  • Using a third acid treatment and wash completes the process of breaking down gelatin into a fully hydrolyzed collagen peptides powder. 

Processing hides involves fewer steps, as it usually requires a single treatment in an alkaline solution like lime to remove keratin, grease, fats, and interfibrillar protein, though this process sometimes utilizes an acid bath instead. Often collagen-rich off-cuttings, defective parts, and trimmings end up in landfills or as high-protein but low-value animal feed. Processing these waste products introduces a valuable new income stream for meat processing and leather producing manufacturers. 

Unused bone from butchering animals and bits of unusable hide from leather production offer a means by which to produce a valuable resource – collagen peptides powder – from these waste products. Equipment for processing collagen peptides powders must be adaptable, however, with the ability to grind to a fineness between 40-60 mesh and with a grit finish between 120-150. 

Uses for Collagen Peptides Powder

As hydrolyzed collagen is more easily digestible, it is used widely in food, beverages, nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics. Additionally, many dietary supplements for weight management include collagen peptides. Numerous studies have shown how collagen peptides offer a variety of health benefits that can help with joint and bone health, aging, skin cosmetics, and even sports nutrition. Though claims about what collagen peptides can do are still being studied, research concerning it continues to progress

Collagen peptides powder is currently used for the following purposes: 

  • Accelerating tissue repair. 
  • As an ingredient in vitamin gummies. 
  • Decreasing joint pain and helping treat arthritis. 
  • Encouraging greater muscle mass. 
  • Helping prevent hair loss or thinning. 
  • Helping prevent intestinal permeability.
  • Improving bone density when taken with calcium and vitamin D. 
  • Increasing bone mass. 
  • Lowering blood pressure.  
  • Managing blood sugars.
  • Preventing injury, in conjunction with vitamin C.
  • Promoting bone growth.
  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Reducing wrinkles and promoting healthy skin. 

Collagen peptides powder can also be easily incorporated into foods, so can be used in a variety of foods or drinks. Additionally, collagen peptides are high in protein content. As it is soluble in either cold or hot water and does not gel, it can be used in soups, baked goods, coffee, tea, smoothies, or even in a regular glass of cold water. 


How Prater Industries Can Help

With its vast experience in the manufacture of reduction and other processing equipment and systems, Prater Industries can facilitate the hydrolysis of collagen into powder form for creamers, powdered drinks, supplements, capsules, and other health products. 

Prater has a range of reduction equipment for Collagen peptides hydrolyzation that includes: 

Prater processing equipment for collagen powder production is currently being used for a number of our clients. Please contact us with any questions about the process or our equipment.