The Importance of Rendered Ingredients in Pet Foods was a main topic at the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association's annual Poultry Protein and Fat Seminar, held in Nashville, Tenn.

Jim Eastin, supplier quality assurance scientist for Nutro Company, provided an overview of the dry pet food process and examined the benefits of chicken meal and poultry fat in pet’s diets as part of his presentation. “Chicken fat is more than just an energy source," said Eastin. "It also provides healthy skin and coats, enhances the aroma of the pet food, provides a nice sheen and seals and shields dry kibble to increase shelf life.”

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Kent Swisher, vice president of international programs for the National Renderers Association, gave a presentation on Emerging Markets: Exports and Domestic. According to Swisher, production statistics for animal protein meal in the U.S. is about four million metric tons, comprised of 56% meat and bone meal, 15% feather meal and 25% poultry byproduct meal. He provided information from an Informa Economics report which showed that the two biggest U.S. markets for rendered products are poultry and pets, with pets being the larger growth market. Swisher also provided information on the countries who are importing animal protein meal and the growth for each market. Some of the top markets include Indonesia, Thailand (500% growth in last five years), China (177% growth) and Bangladesh (155% growth). Swisher went on to describe some emerging opportunities/markets, such as feeding with fish meal and the use of animal fat in biofuels, and ended with a discussion on some of the constraints faced by the industry.

Other sessions included an environmental regulations update, Arc Flash Hazards and Other New Safety Regulations, Mechanical Maintenance: Pumps vs. Conveyors, The Science of Thermal Processing in Continuous Rendering Cookers, new technology, boiler efficiencies and Costs Savings in the Rendering Process