Gelatin is a jelly-like substance generated from the collagen in the bones of a variety of animals, including fish, cattle, and pigs. The majority of commercially available marshmallows contain gelatin. While much gelatin is manufactured from the bones of pigs, the sweet marshmallow product contains no meat.
The modern marshmallow is derived from the original pink-flowered Althaea officinalis mallow plant, which was popular among ancient Egyptians and frequently used as a treatment for ailments. Modern marshmallows are essentially composed of sugar, egg whites, and gelatin obtained from the collagen of a variety of animals, which functions as a binder. Marshmallows are popular and are consumed both on their own and as the foundation for a variety of sweets, such as s’mores and Marshmallow Peeps.