Clemson University held a dedication ceremony for the Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center, March 27. Based in Clemson, S.C., the center will advance the science and technology of animal coproducts and the rendering process.
AVMA Executive Vice President Bruce W. Little was one of several presenters at the ceremony. He provided attendees with a veterinary perspective on rendering and rendered animal coproducts. Dr. Little later told the AVMA Executive Board that he felt the ACREC was a "very worthwhile effort."
The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation provided financial support for the start-up of ACREC while Clemson University offers the educational component. The FPRF is based in Alexandria, Va., and helps institutions direct and manage research processes that enhance the use of rendered animal coproducts.
The ACREC is the first and only research center developed to focus on animal coproduct materials, said Dr. Gary G. Pearl, immediate past president of FPRF, who was instrumental in the center's establishment. He said food supply veterinarians in particular would benefit from the center because of the value and disposition associated with the production and processing of animal tissues that are inedible.
Animal coproducts are inedible components or tissues derived from the production, slaughter, and processing of animals produced for meat, milk, eggs, or fiber. Nearly 54 billion pounds of animal coproducts are generated annually in the United States. There are approximately 240 rendering facilities in North America.
According to Dr. Pearl, approximately 50 percent of the live weight of cattle, 42 percent of the live weight of hogs, 37 percent of the live weight of broilers, and 57 percent of the live weight of fish are inedible materials and become available for the manufacturing of rendered animal coproducts.
Many rendered animal coproducts are used as animal feed ingredients, Dr. Pearl said, and the remaining coproducts are used for industrial purposes. For example, biodiesel and burner fuels can be derived from animal fat and recycled restaurant cooking oils.
The ACREC will ensure microbial safety of rendered products for animal feeds and consumer protection. The center will also develop new market opportunities for the rendering industry, promote environmentally sound practices, and provide educational opportunities in uses of animal coproducts.
For more information on ACREC, log on to www.clemson.edu/acrec.