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Symposium Highlights Latest Developments in Rendering

Rendering industry is responsible for recycling nearly 50% of the animal

Chicken poultry

“The rendering industry is responsible for recycling nearly 50% of the animal. Without rendering, this significant amount of material would go to waste,” said Nancy Foster, president and CEO of the North American Renderers Association (NARA) and Fats and Proteins Research Foundation, during her presentation at the virtual International Rendering Symposium, held online in conjunction with the 2021 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) Marketplace Week.

The program was sponsored by NARA and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and included speakers presenting via videoconferencing software and participating in live Q&A sessions with attendees.

Foster opened the symposium by providing an overview of the rendering industry, as well as a summary of the ongoing research projects sponsored by the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation. She also touched on NARA’s focus for the coming year, which prioritizes increasing consumer awareness about the sustainability of the rendering industry.

Dr. Michele M. Sayles, executive director of food safety and quality for Diamond Pet Foods, discussed both past and current research initiatives for the Pet Food Alliance (PFA), an organization focused on research collaboration between the rendering and pet food industries.

Sayles emphasized the benefits of collaborative research and innovation, highlighting the overlap in challenges and interests between the two industries, as well as providing an update on various research projects.

Anna Wilkinson, director of communications for NARA, presented on the central role rendering has played as sustainability has become more of a priority throughout the 20th century. Wilkinson stressed the importance of communicating these efforts to consumers.

“When you talk to people about rendering, how are you explaining its sustainability benefits? Are you talking to people about rendering at all? This is an important conversation to have,” said Wilkinson. “Rendering, at its core, is defined by its sustainability, so it deserves a seat at the table. Most people do not realize that rendering produces a reduction in greenhouse gases that is the equivalent of taking 18.5 million cars off the road every year. That is huge, and people need to know.”

Tim Law, corporate quality manager of Darling Ingredients, echoed Wilkinson’s focus on sustainability as he discussed the basics of the rendering process and opportunities available for the industry.

“Rendering is recycling,” remarked Law. “If the rendering industry were to come to a halt, all available landfills would fill up within four years. This is a significant impact on environmental sustainability. Through rendering, we’re able to bring animal protein closer to being a zero-waste industry.”

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