FPRF Focuses on Emerging Issues

The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) continues to focus on research that more directly addresses the highest priority areas for renderers. Significant advances have been made at the Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC) during its 10 years of existence at Clemson University, and pioneering work at Kansas State University’s (KSU’s) new Pet Food Program also shows promise to help solve problems with and for major customer groups. 

To update its members on these activities, FPRF held its membership and board of directors meetings along with an emerging issues seminar in late October that covered quite an array of information.

Dr. David Meeker, FPRF director of research, explained that the Poultry Protein and Fat Council of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association has co-funded many successful projects over the years with FPRF and the foundation is looking to work closer with other meat groups on research. Meeker then introduced Dr. David Meisinger who is working with ACREC on commercializing some of the completed research projects, beginning with Dr. Andrew Hurley’s successful renderable polymer waste bin liners (see ACREC Solutions” in the October 2013 Render). Meisinger announced a manufacturing plant is in development.

“We’re off and running and it’s exciting,” he exclaimed. “This is an exciting project and we’re excited to be a part of it.” ACREC Director Dr. Annel Greene shared that Hurley is now examining creating gloves out of the same polymer material that has processed well in rendering operations.

Dr. Greg Aldrich, KSU, “guesstimated” that 9.5 million metric tons of rendered products go into pet food manufacturing, or nearly 30 percent of total production. He explained that the pet food industry is growing along with consumers’ “no” list: no corn, wheat, soy, beef, by-products, beet pulp, etc. Aldrich noted that animal by-products are an important ingredient in pet food so perhaps the industry needs to seek out alternative names for “by-product.” He revealed there is also a new demand by retailers and distributors for longer shelf life of pet food, up to 24 months, which Aldrich declared very difficult to meet.

KSU’s Pet Food Program was established to provide student education, research, and communications for any animal not consumed, including zoo animals. Aldrich is working with the rendering industry to offer educational seminars for students and revealed that pet food manufacturers and renderers have shared challenges in pathogen cross-contamination, volume of species-specific ingredients, and demand for naturally preserved protein meals.

December 2013 RENDER | back