Gelatin in Peanuts: What’s The Deal?

In general, most plant-based meals are straightforward to identify, however some purchased peanuts may contain gelatin derived from cows and pigs. Read on to learn more on this topic and how to avoid buying these products.
Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN

Written by Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN. Updated on December 5, 2022.

In general, most plant-based meals are straightforward to identify.

Vegans and vegetarians are aware that they should avoid certain foods and read labels carefully, but every now and then, some items that appear to be unquestionably plant-based sneak between the cracks.

Peanuts meet all the requirements for inclusion in plant-based diets. They are a good source of protein and offer a wide range of other beneficial nutrients.

However, the situation may change for certain peanut varieties and peanut butter that have been processed. Some purchased peanuts may contain gelatin derived from cows and pigs.

This article is based on the relationship of peanuts, which is obviously a plant-based food, with gelatin. This situation makes it unsafe for vegans and vegetarians to reach peanuts served in their social environments.

On the other hand, this risk can be reduced by reading product labels. In addition, producers can be encouraged to employ ingredients derived from plants rather than gelatin in their products.

Why Do Peanuts Have Gelatin?

Peanuts are a good plant-based source of protein, fat, and numerous healthful elements.

Peanuts have a high satiating capacity and can be an advantageous addition to a plant-based diet because of this quality.

It is composed of a variety of plant components, some of which are antioxidants like coumaric acid and resveratrol, and others of which are antinutrients like phytic acid.

Peanuts, which are rich in a variety of nutrients that are good for the heart, may contribute to the prevention of heart disease. Additionally, they may reduce the likelihood of you developing gallstones.

These properties make peanuts a great plant-based food. However, as with any plant-based diet, it is always important to examine product labels prior to purchase.

In some peanut products, gelatin is added to assist salt and other seasonings sticking to the peanuts. For this reason, the item can no longer be considered vegan.

To a similar extent, we may say the same thing about peanut butter. Peanut butter is a common product that is prized for its rich taste, creamy texture, and outstanding nutrient profile.

On the other hand, because there are so many distinct brands and variations available, you might be unclear as to whether or not it can be incorporated into a balanced vegan diet.

What is Gelatin Made of?

Gelatin, also known as gelatin, is a translucent, colorless, and flavorless food manufactured component. The main sources of gelatin include pigskin, cattle bones and cattle hide.

Due to the vegetarian, halal, and kosher industries, gelatin substitution has become a serious issue in recent years.

Gelatin is utilized in the food industry for its gelling, emulsifying, and stabilizing properties, in addition to its other unique characteristics.

Also, it is used to improve food texture and to find solutions to a wide variety of issues that are associated with the processing of food.

How to Tell if a Peanut Product is Plant-Based and Vegan?

Packaged Products

Checking the ingredient list is the simplest approach to establishing whether peanuts are plant-based. Keep an eye out for components such as honey, fish oil, or gelatin; the presence of any of these suggests that the product includes animal products.

Some items are also branded as vegan-certified, indicating that they do not contain any animal products, have not been tested on animals, and have not been filtered or treated with bone char.

Although certified vegan goods may be produced in facilities that also process animal products, firms are obliged to give evidence that any common equipment has been thoroughly cleaned.

However, this vegan logo is not yet on every vegan product.

Unpackaged Products

This is the beginning of the challenging part. Any vegans who, in the past, have absentmindedly reached out for a handful of peanuts, perhaps in a bar or at the home of someone else, thinking they were getting a great animal-free source of protein may find this to be quite a letdown.

The best tactic to avoid mistakes is to consume peanuts that are presented to you in their purest form.

The fact that they are not salted, seasoned, or roasted minimizes the need for additional substances. Even, it can be better if you’ll take out the peanuts shell for extra precaution.

It’s a little more complicated when it comes to peanut butter and you’re at someone else’s house or out for breakfast. However, most types of peanut butter are free of animal products and can be enjoyed as part of a vegan diet.

Nevertheless, peanut butter products which are using non-vegan ingredients are still quite difficult to recognize without seeing the label.

What Would the Alternative Be?

Although gelatin is a widely used substance in the food industry; It affects the food range of most vegans and vegetarians by risking products that can be completely plant-based.

Manufacturers may consider plant-based gelatins to circumvent this situation.

For example, one type of plant-based gelatin that you might see on labels is agar. It is a galactose-based heterogeneous polysaccharide derived from red algae.

Agar’s properties are similar to gelatin. It is a good substitute for animal-based gelatin in vegetarian foods.


Peanuts contain a variety of beneficial nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, and other plant-based nutrients. But, as with any plant-based diet, it’s always important to check the labels of products before buying them.

Gelatin is mostly made from pigskins, cattle bones, and cattle hides. Gelatin is added to some peanut products to help the salt and other spices stick to the peanuts.

Checking the list of ingredients is the easiest way to find out if peanuts are plant-based. Some items are also marked as vegan-certified.

If you don’t have a label, the best way to make sure you don’t make a mistake is to eat peanuts in their purest form.

Even though gelatin is widely used in the food industry, it limits the food options of most vegans and vegetarians by putting at risk products that can be made entirely from plants.

Manufacturers might think about using plant-based gelatins to get around this problem.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

Read more about our process and team.