Edible fats such as lard, suet and dripping are widely used in European cuisine. They are made from food grade material which is separated from Category 3 material in the abattoir.
What are edible fats?
Edible animal fats are taken from the carcasses of animals in the abattoir, but kept separate from other quality Category three material. They are subject to strict European food hygiene regulations and are fully traceable from farm to fork.
Producing edible fats
Premium grade fat is cut from the abdominal cavity and under the skin; it is then purified filtered and refined to produce high grade oils and fats. Currently, the rendering industry produce 186,000 tonnes of edible fats each year.
Using edible fats
Edible animal fats like lard, goose fat and beef dripping have always been a source of energy, vitamins and fatty acids for humans. They supply the body with Vitamin A, D, E and K oleic acid, while supporting the body's ability to use nutrients
They enhance the flavour of food and are used in baked goods and as a frying agent. They can be used in croissants and pastries as they have a soft consistency and crystalline structure which lends itself to baking.
Beef dripping, is an excellent frying agent sought after by chefs and home cooks because of its high superior texture and. flavour. In Belgium, beef dripping is used to produce perfect french fries and in the UK, it makes the best fish and chips
Edible fats and the environment
Edible animal fats have a small carbon footprint compared to other fats and oils such as palm and vegetable oil that are grown specifically for their oil content. Animals that produce edible animal fats are reared primarily for their meat, dairy and wool. Together with their co-products animal fats share the cost of animal husbandry.
The proportion each product bears is often based on their economic value. Thus, products made from byproducts carry a much smaller share of the total environmental impact.
Their carbon footprint is further reduced as most edible animal fats are produced at rendering plants that use renewable energy derived from animal by-products.