Website Link (Journal by Shirsath et. al. 2021)
- Meat co-products can be a valuable source of biomass.
- They can be used to produce food, feed, fibre, fuel and fertilizer.
- They also have many high value applications, e.g. bio-medical and oleo-chemical.
- Valorisation will require changes to industry operational and business practices.
- The industry can address sustainability challenges through bioeconomy principles.
Everyday operations in the red meat industry generate large quantities of offal and meat co-products. These traditionally are not valued as highly as prime cuts of meat, and can represent a threat to the environment and human health, if not disposed of or processed properly.
In this way, they can represent a cost rather than a potential income stream. A requirement to sustainably feed a growing global population, and to find renewable bio-based alternatives to fossil-derived food, feed, materials and energy, provide new valorisation opportunities for such biomass.
Scope and approach
To identify such opportunities, a systematic literature review was undertaken, considering edible and inedible offal and co-products as raw materials. The initial search of academic databases identified 11,058 papers of potential relevance.
Following removal of duplicates, out of topic articles, articles for which a full-text was not available and other quality related factors, 23 review papers and 94 full research papers remained for analysis.
Key findings and conclusions
The results highlight the large variety of potential products that can be produced from meat co-products and offal, including applications in food and human nutrition, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, oleo-chemical, animal feed, pet-food and fertilizer.
Capitalising on these opportunities is likely to require demonstration and industrial-scale development, and changes to operational as well as current business practices within the industry.
However, the creation of a circular bio-economy model with positive economic, environmental, and social impacts will increasingly be required to enable the industry to address challenges relating to sustainability.