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New horizons for animal rendering

With sustainable production being foremost on 
everyone’s mind, the possibilities for rendering animal by-products are enormous. How to further lessen the environmental impact of animal protein production in the pig and poultry as well as in the fish and pet animal sector, that was on the agenda of the Brazilian Renderers Association (ABRA) during their symposium ‘New horizons for animal rendering’ during the trade fair FIPPPA in Curitiba Brazil.

Renowned speakers Gilson Spanemberg from Apex Brazil, Dutch rendering expert Jacques Wijnoogst and American professor Charles Gooding zoomed in on the sustainability aspect of animal rendering. Chemical engineer Spanemberg stated that if we want to meet the needs of the growing world population, with the little resources we have, we have to do the utmost to use every source we have. “As it is, the earth cannot sustain everyone. If we demand that all the people in the world have a decent food supply, we would need a second and even a third earth.” But according to Spanemberg sustainability is more than just environmental preservation. “Social and economic needs are also part of the equation when it comes to sustainability. We have to preserve resources, caring for the needs of people while also creating revenue. Only profitable companies can ensure the other aspects.”

Green industry

“When it comes to rendering, we are a ‘green’ industry, but we have to prove it,” says professor Charles Gooding. He was involved in making lifecycle assessments and crunched the numbers regarding sustainability of the rendering industry. “By rendering animal by-products instead of composting it, you prevent 70% of CO2 emissions. Further when taking in to account all transport, energy and so forth, which is needed for rendering, meat and bone meal can compete with vegetable protein every time. The thing is, there is nothing more efficient than bringing an essentially waste product to value.” With the inclusion of 5% rendered material in feed to replace the same energy and protein value of soya the CO2 value is reduced from 794 to 752 kilo per tonne of feed.

“And there are even more gains to make,” is the opinion of Jacques Wijnoogst. “Especially in pet food and aquaculture feed we can be much more efficient. Nowadays we tend to use dried feed ingredients, with a relatively large CO2 footprint due to energy use in the drying process.” Wijnoogst is an active promotor of using liquid or semi liquid rendering products. “The human food business shows us there are no limitations in using liquid products, we in the animal feed industry are just not used to it.”

Rendering in Brazil

Embracing the idea of using liquid rendering products may be somewhat far-fetched for the Brazilian renderers, but the industry in Latin America has a really straight forward thought about how to utilise rendering products in animal feed. “Discussions, like the ones in Europe, where rendering material cannot be used in feed, we don’t know,” says Lucas Cipriano, discussion leader of the symposium on behalf of ABRA. Some 80% of meat and bonemeal and 25% of animal fat goes back into the animal protein production chain, excluding ruminants. Brazil has some 500 relatively small rendering plants throughout the country, keeping transport of processing waste to a minimum in the tropics. These plants process only waste streams from slaughter houses, all fallen stock in Brazil is destroyed on farm. The total amount of rendering material sums up to 12.5 billion kilos, after rendering some 2 billion litres and 3.4 billion kilos of meat and bone meal are left for recycling.

“By legislation we can feed anything to swine and poultry, using bonemeal instead of soy protein our poultry industry can be more profitable,” Cipriano states. Even sitting on top of the largest pile of soy in the world, replacing soy with meat and bonemeal an extra saving of 7% can be achieved. “And on top of that, rendering products have phosphor, calcium, protein and energy, which makes it much easier to formulate good feed.”

The Europe situation

According to Cipriano there is more to the use of meat and bonemeal than just cost saving. “Protein is scarce, we should use everything we can get our hands on.” He has some understanding for the European situation where no meat and bonemeal is used for feed, but: “Europe has come a long way since the BSE crisis, everyone knows the product is safe. Instead of using it as we do, Europe is wasting energy and money to ship rendering products overseas and import poultry meat from countries where they feed their own exported meat and bonemeal. In my opinion that is a crazy situation.” The rendering expert sees opportunities for re-introducing meat and bonemeal in European feed in the near future. “Of course that is a political issue, more than a safety one. That said, making feed as sustainable as possible, using rendered by-products is something Europe nor the rest of the world can ignore.”

FIPPPA Brazil showcases the Latin American animal protein industry

The first edition of the three day event FIPPPA in Curitiba Brazil, a partnership between existing fairs Avesui and Tecno food Brazil, highlighted the importance of animal protein production in Latin America. World Poultry went to Brazil to join the experience. Some 20,000 visitors from all over the world visited the exhibition and took part in the scientific programme. The quest for knowledge was highlighted on the first day of the three day International Fair of Animal Production and Protein Processing (FIPPPA). Specific audiences and stakeholders took part in various seminars, ranging from ways to ensure better productivity on farm, the environmental gains achieved through rendering, to the Seminar on Public Policies for the Development of Animal Protein Chains. Francisco Turra of Brazilian producers organisation ABPA explained: “There is a clear future on the horizon for the production of animal protein in Brazil. At the moment we export huge amounts of poultry, some 4.1 million tonnes a year, but mainly whole chicken. Adding value through further processing before export is one of the developments which will be a hot topic in the years to come.” Turra sees a lot of challenges too, from high energy prices all the way to complicated logistics. That said: “Brazil is a natural source of good and the potential is huge.” Showfloor manager and editor of the Brazilian magazine Avicultura industrial Humberto Luis Marques added: “The main goal of our fair is to present to everyone involved in the industry the latest technology to be able to make their operation more profitable. It is a one stop shopping address for integrators as well as independent operations. The seminars are more of a strategic nature, making FIPPPA a qualified business event.”

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