Which by-products are rendered?

The short answer is animal by-products from slaughterhouses and fallen stock that died on farm. The longer answer is that within Europe, animal material falls into three categories; depending on the level of risk it is processed and used in different ways.

What are the three categories?

Category 1 (high risk):

  • Specified Risk Material (SRM) linked with transmission of TSEs (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies), this includes the spinal chord and brain.
  • Fallen stock with SRM
  • Catering waste
  • Anything handled with Category 1

Category 2:

  • Material not fit for human consumption and posing a risk to animals and humans
  • Fallen stock without SRM

CATEGORY 3:

  • Fit for human consumption at the point of slaughter

All processing is done on segregated lines to prevent contamination between different categories of waste and between different species.

category diagram of by-products

DID YOU KNOW....

DID YOU KNOW....

Many rendering sites run off carbon neutral resources

DID YOU KNOW....

DID YOU KNOW....

Animal by products provide enough phosphorus to fertilise 3 million football pitches

DID YOU KNOW....

DID YOU KNOW....

Biodiesel has 15% the greenhouse gas emissions of fossil diesel

rendering plant

How are by-products processed?

Rendering uses heat and pressure to sterilise and stabilise animal material. Sterilisation kills harmful microorganisms thus eliminating disease risk. Stabilising prevents any further decomposition of by-products and makes them suitable for storage and reprocessing for other uses.

A key step is removing water. From 18 million tonnes of material taken in by EFPRA members, only around 6 million tonnes of material are produced, the rest is lost as water which is treated for safe return into the environment. From the process two main products are produced, fat (known as tallow) and protein.

Edible by-products

Many EFPRA members also produce edible products – particularly fat and also gelatin – the raw material for these products is separated at the abattoir and is always managed as food rather than category three by-product. Find out more on the edible fats page »

edible fat

FIND OUT How we use the products of rendering

LEARN MORE ABOUT RENDERING USES