Bone Broth

Instant Bone Broth vs. Liquid Bone Broth: What You Need To Know

Bone Broth

bone broth

When it comes to health food trends, bone broth has been having a moment. Bone broth is traditionally made by simmering animal bones, connective tissues, and vegetables in water for many hours over low heat. With the use of healthy, organic bones, this time-consuming process brings out the best nutrients that the ingredients of the bone broth has to offer. From youth-promoting collagen to gut-healing gelatin, there are many reasons to try bone broth.

With its rise in popularity in recent years, bone broth has evolved beyond its traditional liquid form, taking shape as protein powders, concentrates, pills, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, and instant beverage mixes. Here we’ll focus on two savory forms: Liquid Bone Broth and Instant Bone Broth.

Liquid Bone Broth

liquid bone broth

Bone broth is most commonly found in liquid form. It’s generally found in the soup aisle, packaged in a box, but there are frozen options available too. Liquid bone broth is made by simmering a mixture of high quality bones, aromatics, water and light acids for many hours to extract collagen, gelatin, minerals, and other compounds. 

Bone broth has many benefits, ranging from joint health to skin rejuvenation, and even improvements in sleep (3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12). When purchasing bone broth, there are a few things to always look out for, like quality of ingredients, how the bones are sourced, and what the protein and collagen content is. On top of that, it’s also important to know the difference between bone broth, stock, and regular broth.

Liquid bone broth can be used to add flavor and nourishment to recipes, as a healthy replacement to regular stock and broth or water. More popularly these days, bone broth is being sipped like tea or coffee. Unlike tea and coffee, however, bone broth contains no caffeine and provides protein, collagen, amino acids, minerals and other compounds that provide sustained nourishment and energy, without the sugar and caffeine often found in coffee and tea drinks.  

There’s a whole lot more to unpack when it comes to bone broth. To learn more, check out our ultimate guide to bone broth.

Instant Bone Broth

instant bone broth

What if you could get all the benefits of bone broth in an easy-to-use instant powder mix! Well, that’s exactly what instant bone broth is. 

How does it compare to liquid bone broth? Does it deliver the same nutritional benefits?

Short answer. Yes and no.

Instant bone broth is made by taking liquid bone broth and spray drying it into a powder. Next, the bone broth powder goes through a process called agglomeration to “instantize” the powder. This process creates larger particles, and thus more surface area, making it disperse in water much easier and faster.

Bone broth powder by itself is not very soluble, making it hard to mix into liquids. Most bone broth powders are used to make protein supplements which are generally used in shaker bottles and smoothies, where instant solubility isn’t as important.

Instant bone broth, however, is designed to be a convenient alternative to liquid bone broth, and so mix-ability is a very important attribute. If you try to mix a non-“instantized” bone broth powder into a cup of hot water, it will likely clump and turn into a gooey mess. This is because the proteins do not have enough surface area and require intense aggravation to disperse – which a protein shaker cup or blender provides.

Instant bone broth delivers all the protein, collagen, and flavor as liquid bone broth, minus one thing. Gelatin. While instant bone broth does contain collagen, it will not turn into gelatin when cold because it has been hydrolyzed. The main difference between collagen and gelatin is that gelatin will “gel” when cold and collagen will not. This makes collagen the go-to option for beverages and gelatin the go-to options for culinary applications when cooking and baking.

It’s important to take note of certain things when searching for bone broth powders. One of the first things to look out for are the ingredients that are listed. Making sure that there is “bone broth” present in the ingredients list is crucial, as well as noting how much protein is present per serving; a good bone broth powder should have between 8-10 grams per serving. It’s also important to note that there are no antibiotics, artificial flavors, MSG, additives or preservatives. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it in your body.

In the end, instant bone broth is a portable, easy-to-use source of protein that delivers the key benefits that liquid bone broth has to offer!

The Key Differences

  1. How They Are Made
    • Liquid: Bones, water, aromatics and acid are simmered, then strained. That’s it.
    • Instant: Bones and water only are simmered, then strained. Next, the liquid is spray dried into a powder and then agglomerated/hydrolyzed to become “instantized”.
  2. Different Finished Product
    • Liquid: Because of the addition of aromatics, you have a great tasting bone broth without needing to add anything more to it. Liquid bone broth also contains a high amount of gelatin, which you can see when the bone broth is chilled.
    • Instant: Because of the drying and agglomerating, the powdered bone broth will instantly dissolve in water, but will not gel when chilled. This neutral tasting powder is then blended with collagen protein, freshly ground vegetable powders, herbs and spices.
  3. Different Uses
    • Liquid: Because of its meaty/savory flavor, liquid bone broth can be used as an alternative to stock and regular broth, or as a great base for soups and sauces. You can mix the liquid into cooked meals or just sip on it and enjoy the aromatics of the broth.
    • Instant: Because it will instantly dissolve in water, instant bone broth can be used in recipes just like liquid bone broth. But it can also be used as a savory, on-the-go protein snack.

Liquid Bone Broth: Pros and Cons

  • Pros
    • Healthy alternative to stock and/or regular broth
    • Versatile – can be used as a beverage or in recipes
    • Rich, flavorful liquid taste profile
    • Don’t have to make your own
  • Cons
    • Not portable
    • Frozen bone broth requires thawing and heating
    • More expensive than instant bone broth

Instant Bone Broth: Pros and Cons

  • Pros
    • Portable, easy to grab-and-go
    • Most affordable bone broth option (cost per 8oz serving)
    • Versatile – can be used as a beverage or in recipes
    • Rich, flavorful liquid taste profile
    • Don’t have to make your own
    • Increased nutrient uptake – since protein has been agglomerated, the molecules can be absorbed more easily and quickly by our bodies.
  • Cons
    • Does not gel when cold – cannot use to make sauces or thicken.

What Type of Bone Broth is Best for Me?

bone broth sipping

Both types of bone broth are a great choice, however, it really comes down to lifestyle and need. Liquid bone broth is a great alternative to stock or regular broth, for use in recipes or drinking at home. Even though a pre-packaged bone broth is more convenient than making it yourself, you still need to prepare it beforehand and/or haul it around with you until you’re ready to use it if you have an active, on-the-go lifestyle.

Instant bone broth is quick and easy, and most importantly, it’s portable. The convenience of being able to carry a packet of Instant Bone Broth in your bag, purse or pocket is an evolution in bone broth that meets the demands of the modern world we live in. Simply mix into hot water whenever and wherever you are, and experience the benefits of bone broth in an instant.

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