Types of Animal By Products

animal by products

The term animal by products can include meat, milk and other processed food derived from animals. Some animal by-products have been processed into products that we use every day. An animal product is basically any material derived directly from an animal’s body. These materials may be used for cosmetic, medicinal, petrochemical, or food applications.

The Classification

A close up of a fish

A large number of animal by-products are classified as pharmaceuticals. This means that they have pharmaceutical activity in them or they can enhance the action of pharmaceuticals. For example, isinglass is often used to treat skin conditions in both humans and animals. It has a cleansing effect that can help to reduce acne in both humans and animals. In addition, other animal by-products have antibiotic activity.

One of the most important categories of animal by-products is gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal collagen and protein. It is commonly used in cosmetics, vaccines, surgical dressings, supplements, shampoos and hair dyes and as a food additive.

Pharmaceutical Significance

A cake made to look like a face

Many people wonder what makes animal by-products different from other pharmaceuticals. The answer lies in the source. The tissues and organs from animals used for processing are collected and are taken from the animals themselves without their approval or informed consent. There is no way to determine whether the animal by-product had been fed, watered or exercised prior to being used for human or animal consumption. Many factors including age, diet, environment and previous health status can affect how well the material will react with human or animal health. Because gelatin is used for so many applications, it is especially important that suppliers are completely responsible for how they process and source their livestock by-products.

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The Feed Production

Feed production is another important category of animal by-products. Gelatin and other by-products are mixed with beef, chicken and pork proteins during the feed production process. Feed production is very common in the United States, Europe and Asia. Chicken and beef proteins are generally fed to cattle in order to help boost their meat production. Since this is a very natural, inexpensive and healthy feed, it is a popular alternative to the commercial feeds that are often used for horses, cattle and poultry.

Fish Products

Fish by-products are used to supplement the diets of farmed fish. Fish by-products such as fish oil are high in vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, omega 3 fatty acids and essential minerals (like calcium and magnesium). They are generally fed to farmed fish during their molting period in order to increase their development. This is an important part of marine aquarium fish feeding as it is difficult to find fish oil without a fish by-product. Fish by-products are generally fed to the fish at their molting phase either before or after spawning. This is why fish by-products tend to have a longer shelf life than fish oil supplements.

The Feed Category

There are a number of categories of animal by-products that fall into the category of feed. This includes but is not limited to beef, dairy, sheep and poultry. This is an important aspect of animal by-products and the nutritional values and costs of each feed can vary significantly. The cost of beef, dairy and chicken varies between different markets whereas the costs for fish by-products tend to be very similar to those of beef, dairy and chicken. This allows the cost and benefits of a feed to be customized for the market.

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Wrapping Up

One final category of animal by-products is the gelatin by-product. This by-product comes from the liquefaction of the meat or animal fat. Commonly found in pet stores and some restaurants, gelatin can be derived from various parts of the carcass. This by-product has a very low flash point temperature and is more stable than animal fat. Gelatin is often used as a thickener in cookies and shakes and it can be derived from beef, chicken or pork.

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