Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #187032


item Garcia, Rafael
item Rosentrater, Kurt
item Flores, Rolando

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/8/2006
Publication Date: 9/26/2006
Citation: Garcia, R.A., Rosentrater, K.A., Flores, R.A. 2006. Characteristics of North American meat & bone meal relevant to the development of non-feed applications. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 22(5):729-736.

Interpretive Summary: After the hide and meat are removed from the carcass of a slaughtered farm animal, its remains are typically sent to a rendering plant. The rendering plant transforms these remains into purified fat and a substance known as meat & bone meal (MBM). MBM's traditional use as animal feed has become increasingly threatened, but MBM has potential to be used as the raw material in new products. Development of such new products is hindered by lack of information on many of MBM's chemical and physical properties. To alleviate this problem, MBM samples and manufacturing information were collected from 19 rendering facilities in the United States and Canada. Using these samples, the researchers determined the normal range of a variety of MBM's properties. This information will assist chemists and engineers in the design of new, value-added uses for MBM.

Technical Abstract: Development of new products and processes for meat & bone meal (MBM), a rendered protein, is hindered by lack of reliable data on many of MBM’s chemical and physical properties. MBM samples, as well as data on raw material and process, were collected from 19 rendering facilities in the United States and Canada. A large majority of the raw material was tissue from cattle, swine and poultry. All facilities surveyed practiced continuous dry rendering; 89% of the facilities use continuous cookers and 11% use falling film evaporators. MBM is high in protein (44.6-62.8%, mfb), but this protein is poorly soluble; at pH 7 solubility ranged from 2.20 to 7.22%. Among all samples, the particles' median geometric mean diameter was 387 micro m, and the size distribution was broad. The median density of MBM particles was 1.41 (g/ml); median density of MBM in bulk ranged from 0.50 g/ml when loose-filled to 0.68 g/ml when packed. pH values of the samples ranged from 5.89 to 7.19 and samples containing the most cattle tissue had the highest pH. Thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity values for both loose-filled and packed MBM are reported, as well as CIE L*a*b* color values.