European Renderers Adamant on Nutrition Issues

By Neville Chandler, National Renderers Association

The European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA) held their annual meeting in Marbella, Spain, the first week of June. EFPRA Technical Director Stephen Woodgate outlined the group’s strategies for the past year and 2007.

The first priority has been to assist the European Commission (EC) in achieving reliable tests for species identification as well as the use of markers that are relatively inexpensive but efficient for differentiating tissues such as Category 1 and 2 material, which are at risk for disease and are prohibited from use in feed. EFPRA has become very involved with research projects, both within Europe and also via membership in the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation in the United States, and has been using its best endeavors to ensure that all methods approved for processing animal tissues do not put the methods currently used by the rendering industry at a disadvantage.

With the current climate for renewable fuels, EFPRA has been working with the EC to ensure that biodiesel derived from tallow has the same recognition as biodiesel manufactured from vegetable oils. The industry is faced with an interpretation by some European government departments that tallow is a waste product as defined under the European Union’s (EU’s) Waste Incineration Directive. If classified as a waste product, then tallow would not be able to be used to fire steam-generating boilers, which would put an extra financial burden upon the European rendering industry. Currently there is considerable discussion on resolving the differences between the animal by-products legislation and the Director General Environment.

Finally, there is growing concern over the public perception with regard to the re-introduction of processed animal proteins (PAPs) into the food chain. A recent article published in The Times (London) was full of inaccuracies and factual distortions that trades on the ignorance of the general public and makes it difficult to re-introduce animal proteins into the food chain.

Dr. Vincent Baeten, director of the EU Community Reference Laboratory at Walloon Agricultural Research Center, provided the latest information on the search for species testing kits as well as markers to identify different classes of tissue. The ultimate aim of this work is the inclusion of poultry by-product meal (PBM) in pig rations and porcine meal in broiler rations. Testing started in 2000 where methods such as microscopy, near infrared, or NIR, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were examined and then tested across European laboratories for validation.

The Community Reference Laboratory aims to audit other reference laboratories and develop analytical methods for both the food and feed chain at the same time as building up a sample bank with materials held under controlled conditions. Links on methodology have been made with the United States, Canada, Japan, and China to evaluate PCR methods.

The Safe Feed-Processed Animal Proteins, or SAFEED-PAP, species specific detection project started on December 1, 2006, with the aim to develop methods for detection of species specific proteins, develop new tools and kits for the correct implementation of methods, and advise on tolerance levels. Robust detection methods are essential, with PCR immunology tests being able to detect 0.1 percent of ruminant meat and bone meal (MBM) alone, or in fish meal, it was found that the Neogen test was good to 0.2 percent, whereas the MelisaTek was good to 0.1 percent. Baeten would not be drawn on how soon tests would be available and hence the use of poultry and porcine meals in feeds would occur. However, general consensus suggested that the tests would not be available before 2009.

Dr. Dominique Bureau, University of Guelph, Canada, provided an extensive overview of the work done with PAPs in aquaculture feed. Aquafeeds are high in protein and energy, and historically have been based on fish meal and fish oil, but these products are getting expensive.

In searching for a fish meal replacement, it has been found that soybean meal (SBM) causes enteritis in salmon and trout, while corn gluten meal is yellow and interferes with the pink salmon coloration. Between 1970 and 1995 there were negative feelings about PAPs due to digestibility values in the literature being low. So digestibility trials were carried out on a range of PAPs and it was found that the digestibility of PBM was high, 87 to 91 percent, yet the reference literature had reported values of 69 percent. Feather meal (FM) was 81 to 87 percent, compared to 58 percent from the 1970s and 1980s. MBM was 83 to 89 percent, compared to 62 percent previously.

All of these results demonstrated that the manufacturing processes have improved over the past 20 to 30 years. Spray-dried blood meal was extremely well digested at 96 to 99 percent, compared to rotoplate-dried material at 82 percent, and ring drying at 85 to 88 percent. Today when one examines the raw material on the basis of cost/digestible protein/ton, fish meal has a value of U.S. $1,763/digestible protein/ton, whereas FM and PBM have a value around U.S. $500 to $600 per ton.

The next question to be asked was what is the bioavailability of amino acids in different blood meals? Spray- or flash-dried blood meal has 30 to 50 percent greater availability of lysine when compared to the synthetic amino acid lysine, and disc dried was 16 percent better than synthetic lysine. Trials were repeated with phosphorus (P) digestibility. Plant proteins are low in digestible P and the literature shows highly variable levels of digestible P. Analysis of the literature found bone P and nucleic acid P were 68 percent and 85 percent digestible, respectively, which was similar to inorganic P. To check that these figures were correct, a validation trial was conducted with PAPs, which demonstrated that the model was valid.

Trials were run in which fish meal was replaced with PBM and FM and both products worked well. One trial replaced all the fish meal with PBM. Another trial showed that up to 30 percent PBM was okay. Including PBM to 40 percent replaced all the fish meal and there was no difference in growth of rainbow trout.

Conclusion: PAPs are highly digestible, have a high nutritive value, and are a good source of P and cholesterol. At present, a student of Bureau’s is reviewing some 400 aquafeed trials in which rendered products were assessed. This work will provide the basis of a database and result in a review paper being produced. With fish meal at such high prices, the use of rendered proteins in aquafeed will increase markedly.

Patrick Coelenbier presented data on the European rendering industry. The prospect for changes in raw material supply are limited with a projected drop in beef consumption of six percent, but there is an increase in poultry and pork consumption of seven and three percent, respectively. Total meat consumption in the EU is 88 kilograms/head/year with 50 percent being pork, 27 percent poultry, 17 percent beef and veal, and the final six percent being from sheep, goats, and rabbits.

In the EU, there are 473 rendering plants that process six million metric tons of Category 1 and 2 material and nine million metric tons of Category 3 raw material, those derived from products fit for human consumption. When all categories of raw material are put together, 40 percent are used in energy generation, 19 percent for pet food, 13 percent as fertilizer, 12 percent in feed, 11 percent in soap and oleochemical industries, and three percent in food.

Proteins constitute 3.726 million metric tons, and fats 2.524 million metric tons of finished product produced. Almost 52 percent of the protein is used for energy compared to 29 percent of the fats. The major outlet for the protein meals is cement production units, which take 57 percent, with 42 percent going to waste incinerators, and one percent to power plants.

These figures contrast with 80 percent of the burned tallow being used in steam generating boilers and 20 percent in cement and power plants. The figures for the current use of rendered products contrasts markedly with their use prior to the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy; however, it appears as though energetic uses of rendered products will continue to have a marked effect on consumption patterns.

August 2007 RENDER | back