In March 2016, the Clemson University Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC) marked its tenth anniversary. Although the center’s first research projects had been initiated approximately three years earlier, the official paperwork establishing the partnership between the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) and Clemson University was signed on March 27, 2006, during a dedication conference held on the university campus.
To date, 113 ACREC research projects have been awarded on subjects including odor remediation, chemical-free wastewater treatment, and new product development of improved antioxidants as well as plastics from rendered proteins for use in automotive applications. Underway are several technology projects such as improved extraction of fats from meals and converting rendered animal fats to omega-3 fatty acids as a potential replacement for fish oil. Development of a method to reduce polyethylene plastics in rendered fats through renderable bags and gloves has been accomplished and a project on feed ingredient safety related to Salmonella reduction using bacteriophages is nearing completion. Other projects have included carbon footprint and energy life cycle analyses, and projects on improved biodiesel. Inventions from current research projects are moving toward larger-scale development with the goal of advancing the technologies into the marketplace for the benefit of the rendering industry.
In the fall of 2002, Dr. Gary Pearl, then FPRF president and technical director, first approached Clemson University with the idea of a research center dedicated to animal by-products. A few months later, a discussion forum was held to explore the concept. The room was packed with curious researchers. From this initial contact, a very successful partnership was formed between FPRF and Clemson University. Today, university faculty, staff, and students are very aware and knowledgeable about the rendering industry and its needs and are applying their expertise to finding new solutions for the industry.
June 2016 RENDER | back