“For renderers, the real message is sustainability. The sustainability of the food chain, of the meat industry, of pet food and of our communities. Without our industry and knowledge, the world would be left sending valuable and green feed ingredients to landfills,” said Jessica Meisinger, National Renderers Association, during her presentation at the International Rendering Symposium, held in conjunction with the 2016 International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta.

During her presentation on “Innovations in the Rendering Industry,” Meisinger gave an overview of the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation’s mission and described several research projects that are currently in development, including studies on validating rendering temperatures; the impact of rendered protein meal levels of oxidation on pet food shelf-life; the development of a potent antioxidant from animal byproducts; the use of nanotechnology to eliminate odors; and carbon footprint, aquaculture and lifecycle analysis for greenhouse gas emissions.

Kent Swisher, National Renderers Association, focused his presentation on opportunities and risks in the global market, remarking that “one person’s opportunity might be another person’s risk.” He iterated that the strategic intention for the global market is to promote the demand and market access for rendered products to domestic and international customers.

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Swisher provided examples of domestic and global risks and opportunities, such as the renewable fuel standard, the Food Safety and Modernization Act and the fear consumers have of disease. From a global perspective, Swisher observed that 25 percent of domestic rendered fat goes to biofuel and 19 percent goes to overseas biofuel production. He mentioned that there is an opportunity for rendered protein meal in the poultry and aquaculture sectors, with great demand from Asia, Mexico and Chile. However, avian influenza is a risk for exports, as well as additional European Union meal entering the marketplace. Disease-related issues are also constraints for market access, in addition to currency issues due to the strength of the dollar, non-tariff trade barriers and competing products coming from palm oil and soybean oil.

During his presentation on “Quality Assurance in the Rendering Industry,” Dr. Ansen Pond, Darling Ingredients, remarked, “The rendering industry in the U.S. is heavily regulated and audited by a number of different agencies, including the EPA, OSHA, FDA, APHIS and state regulatory agencies.”

Pond described the rendering process and quality hazards that can occur, observing that the rendering industry has implemented food safety controls for many years to reduce these hazards. Pond commented, “Our industry provides a cycle of sustainability to the food industry, ensuring safety throughout the food chain. Customers expect the rendering industry to provide safe and pest-free ingredients, with no foreign material or contamination, and materials from a traceable and sustainable source.”