What are animal by-products?

Animal by-products are products of animal origin that are not used for meat consumption. The animal fat producers collect or import these products. The fats they use are:

Pork fat (Lard)

We also call pork fat lard. The fat has a white color and is extracted from pork belly and other fatty cuts. The composition of the fat strongly depends on the feed the animal has had. Feed with a relatively high amount of vegetable oil leads to softer, more unsaturated pork fat. The most important fatty acids in terms of content are oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and linoleic acid. The average melting point is about 36 degrees Celsius (the rind melts at about 28 degrees, the deeper fat tissues near the organs at about 43 degrees). We can consume the best quality pork fat without refining.

Beef fat (Tallow)

Another word for beef fat is tallow. Beef fat of a firmer quality is also known as premier gravy. Most of it is extracted from organ tissues. The color is grayish white and the melting point is about 44 degrees Celsius. The composition of the feed has less influence on the composition of body fat in cattle than in pigs. The most important fatty acids in terms of content are oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. Beef fat can enter the food chain, but is also very popular in oleochemistry (particularly as a raw material for soap).

Poultry fat

Poultry fat comes mainly from chickens and turkeys. We mainly obtain the poultry fat from intestinal tracts and from the abdominal and breast tissue. The melting point of poultry fat is approximately 25 degrees Celsius. This type of fat is golden in color and especially rich in oleic acid and linoleic acid, and to a lesser extent in stearic acid. Poultry fat is mainly used for animal feed, foodstuffs and dry dog and cat food (pet food).

Ratio per animal species

The diagram below shows per animal species which part is directly intended for meat consumption and which part is further processed into valuable ingredients. (Afbeelding nog vertalen in Engels)

Raio per animal species

Versatilty of a pig

To illustrate the versatility of a farm animal, the picture below shows that agriculture impacts our daily lives through more than just the food on our plates. The parts of a pig mentioned below offer a huge product variety. Also by-products from cows and chicken are used in various ways.

Versatility of a pig


Marine oils

The marine oils categorie covers the oil that is extracted from fish, as well as the oil extraced from marine mammals, such as whales and seals. The Dutch oils and fats industry processes only fish oil. The oil comes from herring, pilchard, menhaden and sardine and has a yellow color. In addition to palmitic acid and oleic acid, fish oil contains fairly high levels of unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are very popular because of their health effect. Think of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Fish oil also contains relatively many other types of (unsaturated) fatty acid, which makes it a source of healthy fats. That is why we use a lot of fish oil in food or dietary supplements. There is also a lot of fish oil in fish feed, because fish oil is well absorbed in the body of fish. Fish oil also goes to technical destinations.

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