Introduction

Global meat production is approaching 2 x 108 tonnes/year with pork (40%), poultry (30%) and beef (26%) making up the vast majority of global production. China and the USA are the world's largest producers of beef and pork; while Brazil, Mexico, the Russian Federation and a number of Western European countries are also large producers (UNEP, 2000). Although information on volumes of generated waste is variable, and dependent on the type of meat being processed, a report from the World Bank Group has suggested that meat processing waste is generally about 35% of the animal weight (World Bank Group, 1998). Thus, as a guide to the reader, at least 7 x 107 tonnes of meat-derived waste is generated annually through processing.

This chapter addresses key issues associated with the overall management of waste resulting from the processing of red (beef, sheep) and white (chicken, pig) meat. The chapter covers various aspects of best practice in the management of such waste, including its minimization, its 'disposal' in an environmentally responsible manner and, perhaps of most importance, approaches to value addition to the waste - including the manufacture of key co-products for application in the food, biotechnology, medical and related industries. Most attention has been paid to this area of co-product recovery and application. This section highlights several key co-products, derived from blood and non-blood sources, that have been successfully isolated, characterized and commercialized. Key references have also been highlighted, together with sources for further information, notably via the internet.

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