Rendering on Display in South Africa

By David J. Kaluzny II, President, World Renderers Organization

The International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) organized the 4th Global Feed and Food Congress in Sun City, South Africa, in mid-April. Technical support was provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the congress was hosted by the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa.

With the theme “Safe Feed and Food for All,” there were 32 sessions offered with over 100 speakers. Sessions ranged on topics as diverse as enzyme technology in animal nutrition, feed additives in animal nutrition, good feed manufacturing practices, meeting sustainability challenges, and global regulatory standards. Specific session programs were offered for dairy feeding, monogastric nutrition, poultry nutrition, aquaculture, and specialty ingredients. The World Renderers Organization (WRO) sponsored a half-day of seminars divided into two workshops and was a Global Feed and Food Congress Silver Sponsor for the third time.

The WRO workshops started out with a presentation by this author on the WRO itself and a summarization of rendered products worldwide. Given the diverse nature of the audience, the presentation began with a delineation of all rendered products available for feed. Protein was dealt with separately from fat and all were explained in terms of physical properties like free fatty acid levels for fats as well as nutritional values such as protein and ash content for protein meals.

Current and historical pricing analysis was given along with comparisons to other feed products. Pricing trends were reviewed in comparison to other competing feed products with respect to ending stock ratios year-to-year. Given the demand for feed fats and proteins worldwide, these ending stocks-to-use ratios are quite telling in amalgamation with all other competing products. For instance, with the ending stock-to-use ratio for seven major vegetable and marine proteins falling below three percent over the past 10 years, we can see a corresponding rise in prices over the same period.

Also reviewed were the current production numbers for all rendered products worldwide. This is of particular importance for various markets seeking least total cost (commodity plus shipping) ingredients for feed. Current import numbers of rendered products for the major importing countries around the globe were also examined. This was also identified in terms of total feed production for these countries.

Finally was a look at total biodiesel production around the world and its effect on usage of animal fats.

WRO First Vice President Stephen Woodgate kept the program running on time with the introduction of two speakers coincidentally location appropriate, representing facets of rendering in South Africa. Piet Kruger spoke of alternatives to rendering in South Africa that are a bit of a necessity due to a number of reasons.

First and foremost has been the decentralization of meat slaughter (opposite from the rest of the world) within the country. As the monopoly afforded the state-owned meat plants disappeared, it gave rise to the rapid establishment of smaller meat plants throughout South Africa. The large state-owned plants found most of themselves going out of business for lack of animals to slaughter. The rendering facilities associated with these plants shut down for the most part as well. Only the poultry plants remained in good stead.

With the greater distances between slaughter plants, transport of raw material became prohibitive and plants turned to burial or composting as an alternative. With the severe drawbacks to both of these alternatives, alkaline hydrolysis is being promoted as a safer, pathogen-free alternative that allows for protein and fat recovery as well.

Next, Richard Prentis, representing Renderers RSA (Republic of South Africa), reviewed the rendering industry as it stands today in South Africa along with a bit of its history. He spoke of the country’s need to import rendered products for pet food production as the local industry does not produce enough for in-country demand. Rendered poultry products are primarily used in the poultry industry, leaving little for other domestic use.

Prentis noted that there used to be 40 red meat rendering plants and 14 chicken rendering plants in South Africa before decentralization. There are now only seven red meat rendering plants but 20 poultry rendering plants. This is the result of the growth in the number of smaller abattoirs from 180 to 640 in the country after 1992.

Dr. Martin Alm, technical director of the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association, spoke on the safety and sustainability of rendered products. For the novices, he explained rendering and its basic heat treatments of by-products that yields both the separation of the fats from the proteins as well as the sterilization of the product. Alm pointed to how good manufacturing practices used in conjunction with hazard analysis and critical control point plans yield safe feed products. Plant certifications achieved through such entities as the United States’ Animal Protein Producers Industry Code of Practice and the Australian renderers’ Australian Standard for Hygienic Rendering of Animal Products verify the consistent use of these processes.

Alm also mentioned the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation’s Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center’s ongoing research on the efficacy of rendering and its documented time and temperature kill times on Salmonella, Clostridium, E-coli, and other pathogens.

The second workshop featured three speakers well-known in the rendering industry. Professor Jeff Firman of the Animal Science Research Center at the University of Missouri spoke on the use of rendered products in poultry feeds. With decades of experience in the field as well as even raising his own birds, Firman spoke with authority. He reviewed the use of both animal proteins and fats in broiler and layer diets. He delineated the choices in the various protein meals and fats and looked at differing inclusion rates.

Firman noted that protein meals deliver not just protein but calcium and phosphorus as well, which are essential to the animal’s diet. In all fairness, he pointed to the limitations of animal proteins as they are just one ingredient, though an important one, in a balanced, nutritionally complete, and least-cost ration.

Next up was Dr. Albert Tacon, director of Aquatic Farms, Ltd., one of the world’s foremost aquaculture nutritionists. He has a PhD in aquaculture nutrition and has spent his career lecturing on aquaculture feed, working with the FAO as a feed technologist, and serving as director of the Oceanic Institute’s Aqua Feeds and Nutrition Feed Program.

Tacon talked about rendered products in compound aquafeeds, including the differences in fin fish and crustacean diets and their differing uses of the various rendered products. Of concern to all aquafeed manufacturers and, of course, users, is the high cost of fish meal and fish oil. With fish meal prices ranging from $1,700 to $1,800 per metric ton it is easy to see that there are significant savings to be made in utilization of rendered products at one-third to one-quarter that price.

Finally, Tony Edwards, owner of ACE Livestock Consulting in Australia, spoke on “Utilizing Rendered Products as Part of the Responsible Management of World Feed Resources for Pigs.” Edwards has nearly 40 years of experience as a nutritionist in Australia dealing in feed milling, livestock production, and consulting, primarily in the swine arena. He related the usage of animal proteins and fats as feed ingredients back to the idea of a sustainable approach to feeding the ever-increasing number of animals needed to feed the world’s ever-growing population. Edwards pointed out that the key to feeding an ever-greater number of animals is sustainability and that organic, free-range, and non-genetically modified organisms are probably not the answer to the dilemma.

The recycling of animal by-products is very sustainable, and, in fact, the epitome of sustainability. When managed properly, it is both welcomed and necessary. Responsible feed resource management demands the full value be extracted from animal protein materials and any unnecessary bans restricting their use be reviewed.

The rendering industry and all it has to offer the world in its efforts to meet the ever-growing demand for animal protein was clearly on display in Sun City, South Africa. Rendering truly is the epitome of sustainability.

Presentations given at the WRO seminar are available at A list of topics at the Global Feed and Food Congress and copies of many of the presentations can be found at the IFIF website at

June 2013 RENDER | back