Resources > Term > C > Collagen

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Collagen is a long, firm protein that is the most common protein in mammals. Collagen is composed of three separate molecules made of amino acid chains, twisted around each other, similar to how a rope is formed. Collagen’s structure makes it extremely strong and difficult to break down.

Skin is mostly Collagen, and it’s one of three proteins that form Connective Tissues such as tendons and ligaments. Heavily used muscles, like the chest, legs and rump, have more Collagen. Less frequently used muscles have less Collagen. Younger animals form less Collagen than older animals who’ve had more time to build muscle mass.

Culinary Uses

Un-cooked or under-cooked Collagen is very tough and makes for a Tough Chew but if heated at a low temperature, about 225° F (107.2° C) for a long while, (typically 5 hours but it could be as long as 15 hours) it will dissolve into Gelatin. Since Collagen is water soluble, low & slow Moist Heat Cooking Methods also work well.