What Kind of Gelatin is in Rice Krispies Treats?

what kind of gelatin is in rice krispies treats
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Rice Krispies Treats are a beloved snack, known for their sweet, chewy texture and delightful crunch. One of the key ingredients that contributes to this texture is gelatin. So, what kind of gelatin is in Rice Krispies Treats? This article explores the source and role of gelatin in these popular treats.

Understanding Gelatin

Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of animals, primarily cows and pigs, in water. This process breaks down the collagen, yielding gelatin, which is then dried and processed into a powder.

Gelatin in Rice Krispies Treats

Type of Gelatin Used

The gelatin used in Rice Krispies Treats is typically derived from pork. This is standard for many commercial gelatin products due to the abundance and cost-effectiveness of pork by-products in gelatin production. Specifically, the gelatin helps the marshmallows within the treats to maintain their shape and texture, contributing to the chewy consistency that is characteristic of Rice Krispies Treats.

Function of Gelatin

In Rice Krispies Treats, gelatin serves several important functions:

  • Texture: Gelatin provides the chewy texture that makes the treats enjoyable to eat. It helps the marshmallows set properly and bind the Rice Krispies cereal together.
  • Stability: Gelatin helps maintain the structure of the treats, ensuring they do not fall apart easily.
  • Shelf Life: The inclusion of gelatin can also help extend the shelf life of the treats by maintaining their moisture content and preventing them from becoming too hard or stale.

Considerations for Dietary Restrictions

Vegetarian and Vegan Concerns

For individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets, the presence of pork-derived gelatin in Rice Krispies Treats poses a significant concern. Gelatin is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans as it is an animal product. Consequently, those adhering to these diets typically seek alternatives.

Halal and Kosher Considerations

Similarly, for those observing halal or kosher dietary laws, the use of pork gelatin is problematic. Both halal and kosher practices forbid the consumption of pork and products derived from it. There are halal and kosher gelatins available, derived from beef or fish, but they are not typically used in mainstream Rice Krispies Treats.

Alternatives to Traditional Gelatin

For those who avoid animal products or have dietary restrictions, several alternatives to traditional gelatin can be used in homemade versions of Rice Krispies Treats:

  • Agar-Agar: A plant-based gelatin substitute derived from seaweed. It can replicate the gelling properties of gelatin without the use of animal products.
  • Carrageenan: Another seaweed-derived substance that can act as a gelling agent.
  • Pectin: A fruit-derived gelling agent commonly used in jams and jellies.


The gelatin in Rice Krispies Treats is typically derived from pork, serving as a critical component in achieving the treats’ chewy texture and structural integrity. For those with dietary restrictions, alternative gelling agents like agar-agar, carrageenan, or pectin can be used to create similar treats at home. For more information on plant-based products and alternatives, visit the home page.

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