Saturday, June 15, 2024
General Agriculture

Uses of Animal Products and By-products

In the preceding section, some animal products could have dual classifications specifically slaughterhouse by-products as well as animal foods. However, a more technical classification based on the utilization (uses) of animal products may minimize the confusion.

Therefore, the new classification divides animal products into animal products and animal by-products strictly. Note that, virtually all animal products and by-products must be processed in some form before utilization.

Most of those that require minimum processing are those used to meet individual food needs. Some other products require more processing and are the exclusive preserve of various industries.

1. Animal Products

Animal products include everything obtained from an animal, living or after slaughter, which is edible and intended for use as human food. These include meat, milk, eggs, and processed products resulting from them. Meat refers to the tissues obtained from domestic, aquatic, and non-domesticated animals used as food.

These include beef, pork, mutton, and chevon from cattle, pig, sheep and goats, respectively (referred to as ‘red meat’). Meat from other animals is also consumed such as from horses, camels, and rabbits. Meat from non-domesticated animals is called a ‘game’.

Poultry meat (referred to as ‘white meat’) is obtained from chickens, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, etc. Meat from aquatic animals includes mostly fish, then to a lower extent, crabs, lobsters, oysters, and other species.

In addition, many other minor parts of the carcass obtained during the slaughter and processing of animals are used as food. These include the liver, heart, lung, sweetbread (pancreas), kidneys, intestines, brain, tongue, spleen, ox-tail, bone, blood, hide and skin, hoofs, fat, lips, eyes, skull (head), etc.

These are generally called variety meats. As mentioned previously, the use of these products as food depends on custom, tradition, purchasing power, religion, and food habits. Therefore, many of these products are also considered inedible (not useful as food) by some people and referred to as animal by-products.

Animal products are significant in planning a normal well-balanced diet. Animal foods significantly contribute to four of the basic nutritional components of man’s diet. These nutrients are protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Read Also: General Classification of Animal Products

2. Animal By-Products

Animal by-products strictly refer to products obtained from the animal not intended for use as food. Therefore, they are considered inedible and are usually exploited for their economic value.

Efficient conversion of these into useful products contributes to a reduction in environmental pollution since they readily decompose to pollute the environment. The processing of these products is referred to as rendering.

Animal by-products can be of either external or internal origin. Animal by-products originating from the exterior of the body include wool, hair, fur, feathers as well as hide, skin, hoof, and horn.

From within the animal body comes a variety of by-products including rumen contents, feces, blood, bones, fats and oil, liver, heart, lung, sweetbread (pancreas), kidneys, intestines, brain, tongue, spleen, etc.

2a) Uses of Animal By-products of External Origin

Horns and hooves are used in handicrafts, glue, combs, buttons, etc.

Gelatin from skin and bone used in food, ointments, cosmetics, drugs

Hair, bristles, and wool for textiles, carpets, brushes, lanolin

Hides and skin for all real leather goods

Feathers are used as ornaments, in the manufacture of mattresses and pillows

2b) Uses of Animal By-products of Internal Origin

Meat and bone meal are used in animal feed for domestic animals.

Animal blood is used with agar (as blood agar) for the identification of various microorganisms.

Blood is used as blood meal as a protein source in livestock diets

Bone is used in the manufacture of gelatine, bone meal, glue, and dicalcium  phosphate

The intestines are used as casings or skins for sausage

Feces and rumen contents are used as organic manures, biogas, feed

Tallow (animal fat) is used in the manufacturing of soap, cosmetics, lubricants, polish, etc.

Many organs and glands serve as sources of pharmaceutical products. For example, the pancreas for insulin; the ovaries for estrogen; brain for growth hormone.

In research, fertile eggs are useful in testing the effects of drugs and for the production of toxins and vaccines

In conclusion, proper understanding and ability to distinguish between animal products and by-products is very important to aspiring entrepreneurs in livestock production.

Knowledge of the potential uses of different parts of the whole body of the animal provides significant opportunities that can be exploited.

Read Also: Farm Animals (Livestock production): Benefits and Economic Importance

Read Also: Institutional Arrangement for Pollution Control


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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