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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Concentration of Key Elements in North American Meat & Bone Meal

Authors
item Garcia, Rafael
item Rosentrater, Kurt

Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 13, 2007
Publication Date: August 8, 2008
Citation: Garcia, R.A., Rosentrater, K.A. 2008. Concentration of Key Elements in North American Meat & Bone Meal. Biomass and Bioenergy. 32(9):887-891.

Interpretive Summary: The use of meat & bone meal (MBM) as an animal feed component has been progressively restricted, and new uses for MBM are required. In the near term, use of MBM as a fuel or a phosphorus fertilizer may increase, but a lack of data on its elemental composition is hindering the growth of these applications. To generate the required data, MBM samples were collected from 17 North American rendering plants, carefully prepared and analyzed for 20 elements. Special measures were taken to correct for inaccuracies introduced during the process of analysis. Although concentrations of many elements were found to agree with previously published values, concentrations of potassium, magnesium and copper were significantly different from the most authoritative reference. Concentrations of heavy metals tested for were low, and arsenic and cadmium were not detected in any sample. The reasons behind the variation in the concentration for the various elements are clear in some cases and not in others. The data presented should allow the development of non-feed applications for MBM to proceed with increased confidence.

Technical Abstract: Meat & bone meal (MBM) and related rendered protein commodities have potential for use in applications other than animal feed, including use as a fuel or a phosphorus fertilizer. In order to develop these applications, data on the elemental composition are required; the currently available elemental composition data has important limitations. To generate more appropriate and reliable data, MBM samples were collected from 17 North American rendering plants, carefully prepared and analyzed for 20 elements. Preliminary studies showed that the sample preparation process artificially increased levels of sulfur and nickel in a manner that was correctable. Concentrations of many elements were found to agree with previously published values, but concentrations of potassium, magnesium and copper were significantly different from the most authoritative reference. Concentrations of heavy metals tested for were low, and arsenic and cadmium were not detected in any sample. Among the elements tested, there were a number of pairs of elements whose concentration was correlated with high significance, which in many cases was due to the varying proportions of soft tissue and bone in the MBM. The data presented should allow the development of non-feed applications for MBM to proceed with increased confidence.

Last Modified: 7/14/2014
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