Comparing Methods of Meat By-product Disposal

July 25, 2016 | Dr. Charles Gooding, formerly of Clemson University, and Dr. David Meeker of the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) have successfully published an instrumental paper in The Professional Animal Scientist titled, “Review: Comparison of 3 alternatives for large-scale processing of animal carcasses and meat by-products.” The article was chosen as the June 2016 issue’s “Editor’s Choice,” an honor given to a particularly noteworthy article in each volume. Due to this, the article is available online at no charge at until the next issue of the journal is released, giving it added exposure. As of mid-July, the article was the most read on the journal’s website.

The journal article shows that rendering has several advantages over composting and anaerobic digestion for effective handling of large quantities of meat by-products. All three methods work but rendering is the best choice for a number of reasons. One is biosecurity. Both anaerobic digestion and industrial composting are undeveloped industries that are not well regulated. Regulations vary from state to state and there is no consistent federal regulation on air emissions or wastewater for anaerobic digestion and composting as there is for rendering. Seepage and leachate from anaerobic digestion and composting could contaminate groundwater and potentially harm people, animals, and plants. Both industrial composting and anaerobic digestion require strict parameters to be followed to destroy pathogens and if this process is not controlled, pathogen and environmental problems increase drastically. Rendering is a mature industry that is regulated both by states and the federal government though the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and United States Department of Agriculture.

The article also describes how rendering is a better option as it relates to greenhouse gases and the value of the end products. The journal article can be accessed directly at

RENDER | back