JELL-O Dolly

Is JELL-O made from horses' hooves?

Claim:   JELL-O is made from bones and hides.

Status:   True.

Origins:   Sometimes the most Jell-O innocuous of foodstuffs contain constituents whose origins are less than appetizing. Such is the case with JELL-O, a dessert that has graced millions of dinner tables since its 1897 debut.

Underneath JELL-O's jiggly wholesomeness lurks a secret many consumers are disconcerted to learn: JELL-O is made from gelatin, an animal product rendered from the hides and bones of animals, typically pork skins, pork, horses, cattle bones, and split cattle hides.

The production of gelatin starts with the boiling of bones, skins, and hides of cows and pigs, a process that releases the protein-rich collagen from animal tissues. The collagen is boiled and filtered numerous times, dried, and ground to a powder. Because the collagen is processed extensively, the final product is not categorized as a meat or animal product by the federal government. Very strict vegetarians avoid gelatin entirely, but more permissive vegetarians have no problem including JELL-O in their diets.

JELL-O products account for about 80 percent of the gelatin market.

Popular belief has it that gelatin comes from horses' and cows' hooves. Kraft, the maker of JELL-O, asserts that hooves do not contain the necessary collagen and therefore are not used in the production of its JELL-O brand gelatin product.

Barbara "hoof beating the rap" Mikkelson

Last updated:   20 February 2007

  Sources Sources:
    Palmer, Jane.   "Making an Impression."
    Omaha World-Herald.   27 March 2002   (p. E1).

    Randall, Laura.   "The 'JELL-O Molding' of America."
    The Christian Science Monitor.   23 July 1992   (Food, p. 14).

    Sherman, Chris and Debbie Wolfe.   "When They Invented JELL-O They Broke the Mold."
    St. Petersburg Times.   9 May 1991   (p. D1).

David Mikkelson founded in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.