What Kind Of Gelatin Does Rice Krispies Have

What Kind Of Gelatin Does Rice Krispies Have? Ingredient Guide

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Shari Mason

Did you ever ponder what makes Rice Krispies treats so uniquely chewy? The answer can be found in a popular ingredient: gelatin.

But what kind of gelatin does Rice Krispies have?

From firsthand experience exploring kitchen staples, understanding the type of gelatin used can be enlightening, especially for those mindful of their dietary choices. 

Dive in as we break down the specifics of gelatin in this beloved cereal treat in the simplest terms.

What Kind Of Gelatin Do They Use For Rice Krispies? 

Slicing Rice Krispies

For those traditional Rice Krispies treats that employ the chewy delight of marshmallows, it’s noteworthy that many store-bought marshmallows contain pork gelatin [1] as a stabilizing agent. 

“My breakfast is usually a wholegrain cereal or porridge, with walnuts sprinkled, berries, a tablespoon of honey, and chia seeds. I have coffee and a little cherry juice with a seltzer. I have a seat by the window, and I look out at the view.”

– Amy Tan, American Writer

If this is a concern due to dietary or religious reasons, it’s crucial to source marshmallows that explicitly avoid pork derivatives or opt for alternative binding agents.

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What Is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a translucent, flavorless protein derived from the prolonged boiling of animal connective tissues, such as skin, bones, and ligaments, primarily from pigs and cows.

It’s widely used in the food industry for its unique gelling properties. 

It is a thickening and stabilizing agent in products ranging from jellies to desserts and dairy products.

Gelatin’s ability to form a smooth, gel-like consistency upon cooling makes it a popular ingredient in many culinary applications.

Why Is Gelatin Used In Rice Krispies Treats?

Interestingly, gelatin itself isn’t directly added to Rice Krispies treats. Instead, marshmallows are the key ingredient that brings about the chewy consistency we adore in these treats. 

Marshmallows in their traditional formulation contain gelatin, giving them their characteristic spongy texture. 

When these marshmallows are melted and mixed with Rice Krispies cereal, the gelatin acts as a binding agent, making the mixture pliable and sticky. 

The marshmallows’ gelatin helps set the treats as the mixture cools down, giving them their unique, firm-yet-chewy texture. 

With the gelatin’s properties in the marshmallows, achieving this signature consistency in Rice Krispies treats would be easier. 

Thus, while gelatin isn’t directly added to the treats, its presence in marshmallows is pivotal in creating the texture that has made Rice Krispies treats a beloved snack for generations.

Is The Gelatin In Rice Krispies Of Animal Origin?

Yes, the gelatin found in many store-bought marshmallows [2], commonly used to make Rice Krispies treats, is of animal origin.

This gelatin is derived primarily from the boiled connective tissues, bones, and skin of animals, most often pigs and cows. 

This animal-derived gelatin in marshmallows provides the chewy and binding quality essential for the classic texture of Rice Krispies treats. 

“In every chewy bite of a Rice Krispies treat lies the mystery of gelatin; its origin may surprise, but its magic is undeniable.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Individuals with dietary restrictions or preferences should check product labels or consider alternatives like gelatin-free marshmallows when making or purchasing these treats.

Are There Vegetarian Or Vegan Alternatives To This Gelatin?

Gelatin on a Glass Bowl
  1. Agar-Agar:
    • Source: Derived from red algae.
    • Properties: Provides a firmer set than gelatin and is often used in desserts like jellies and puddings.
    • Usage: It can be used as a direct substitute for gelatin but may require some experimentation as agar sets more firmly.
  2. Carrageenan:
    • Source: Extracted from red seaweeds.
    • Properties: Used primarily as a thickening agent in various foods, including dairy alternatives.
    • Usage: Comes in various forms, like iota and kappa, each with its gelling properties. They are typically combined with other ingredients, like locust bean gum, for desired textures.
  3. Pectin:
    • Source: Derived from the cell walls of plants, especially citrus fruits and apples.
    • Properties: Commonly used to thicken jams and jellies.
    • Usage: Unlike gelatin sets when cooled, pectin sets when heated. The setting strength varies, so it’s crucial to match the type of pectin to the specific application.
  4. Gellan Gum:
    • Source: Produced by bacterial fermentation.
    • Properties: A versatile gelling agent that creates a variety of textures, from soft to brittle gels.
    • Usage: Used in many vegan gummy candies and other confections.
  5. Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum:
    • Source: Derived from legume plants and bacterial fermentation, respectively.
    • Properties: These are not gelling agents per se, but they act as thickeners and stabilizers in various food applications.
    • Usage: Often used in gluten-free baking and dairy alternatives to improve texture.


u003cstrongu003eIs Rice Krispies gelatin halal?u003c/strongu003e

Most traditional Rice Krispies treats are made using marshmallows, which often contain gelatin derived from pork, making them non-halal. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, some brands produce halal-certified marshmallows with beef-derived gelatin or plant-based alternatives. Always check the product label or look for specific halal-certified versions to ensure compliance.

u003cstrongu003eIs beef gelatine Halal?u003c/strongu003e

Beef gelatin can be halal if derived from a halal-slaughtered animal and processed in compliance with Islamic dietary laws. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, to be specific, it’s essential to check for a halal certification on the product.

Final Thoughts

Rice Krispies treats owe their signature chewy texture to the gelatin present in marshmallows, a primary ingredient. 

This gelatin is typically derived from animal sources, often pigs or cows, for those with dietary or religious restrictions to recognize this and seek alternatives when needed. 

With the increasing demand for varied dietary needs, halal, kosher, vegetarian, and vegan alternatives are available. 

Being informed allows consumers to make choices that align with their values and dietary preferences, ensuring this timeless treat remains accessible and enjoyable.


Shari Mason

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