Never have consumers been so interested in the source of their food, its impact on their health and the environment. This heightened awareness means food producers are being asked to increase their sustainability, transparency and traceability to meet evolving consumer & environmental demands.
A primary source of edible protein in the world is derived from Beef, the production of which is resource-intensive, with the current global management of its by-products being underutilised. EDL has developed, tested and refined a fast, highly effective on-site conversion process to add multiple value streams to fresh animal by-product and re-used industrial and organic waste to create significant financial, environmental, regulatory and societal advantages.
EDL has solved the current undervalued ‘5th quarter’ challenge of beef abattoirs by employing bespoke process engineering and chemistry to retain 2 previously lost, valuable and nutritious foods within the human food chain: high-quality beef fat and beef extract (protein) and then re-purpose the bone, after the fat and extract recovery, within their second stage fertiliser production process, resulting in zero waste, additional nutritious food, and a sustainable organo-mineral fertiliser known as Thallo®.
The generation of protein from beef cattle is an expensive process and has environmental consequences. Whilst there is a wide range of calculations concerning the cost of the production process, we wanted to solve one of the challenges to optimising livestock operations. Our research and technology will reduce the impact of meat consumption on the environment.
As promoted by the World Resources Institute in its recent report, one of the best ways to make agriculture sustainable in the near term is to improve the efficiency of our global animal protein market.
EDL prevents inefficiency related loss of high-quality protein on-site by immediately capturing residual lean meat from the fresh meaty bones using proprietary and established technology. This safe and fast process re-introduces some 10-12% of meat protein as ‘beef extract’ previously lost from the human food chain and reduces the related carbon footprint through better utilisation of protein. The associated bone and organic waste re-use further sequesters carbon cost by putting it back into soil via our organo-mineral fertiliser where it and the associated nutrients are efficiently brought back into the nutrient cycle.
Capturing the beef meat trim and bones within minutes of the opportunity being generated ensures that the nutritional qualities, freshness and tastes are captured. Utilising a natural low-temperature extraction, this process produces a fresh, fully traceable, authentic, 100% pure beef extract (protein). In addition, the Extract produces several highly desirable, value-adding characteristics such as being umami-rich (meaning less needs to be used), a natural flavour enhancer (replacing MSG which many manufacturers are seeking to replace), low in salt (another regulatory and health focussed driver) and is savoury in taste rather than bitter.
As well as remaining in the human food chain (unlike that produced by the established rendering processes), the beef extract and fat produced by EDS addresses a growing disconnect between what the market wants/is increasingly demanding (i.e. high quality, authentic, fresh, fully traceable UK products) and what the market can provide (either untraceable, often very old and poor quality imported products or low volume, low quality frozen UK products).
Leading market players such as M&S, Premier Foods and Sainsbury’s are already insisting on full traceability. The view taken by several market experts is that the only constraint on a more wholesale move from this being “nice to have” to a “must-have” is the fact that the demand cannot yet be met.
Ensuring high-quality protein production is optimised, fully traceable and sustainable are core elements of the circular process we have invented and developed.
Beef Fat (Dripping)
In addition to being a fresh, fully traceable UK product, the edible fats are very low in free fatty acids (a characteristic which drives pricing, stability and usability). Edible fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, humans have consumed them for millennia. They supply the vital nutrients Vitamin A, D, E and K and oleic acid, while supporting the body’s ability to use nutrients more efficiently and are a great source of energy.
Edible Fats and the Environment
Edible animal fats including beef dripping, have a small carbon footprint compared to other fats and oils such as palm and vegetable oil that are grown specifically for their oil content. Cattle and other animals that produce edible fats are reared primarily for their meat, dairy and wool. Together with their co-products, animal fats share the total cost of animal husbandry.
The proportion each product generated bears is typically based on their economic value. Thus, products made from a ‘waste material’ carry a much smaller share of the total environmental impact. Our process essentially turns waste materials into useful – and incredibly tasty – produce, adding energy back into the food chain at a low carbon cost.
The overall carbon footprint is further reduced as our allied fertiliser Thallo® captures carbon and returns it to the soil, and the fats not placed into the human food supply chain are migrated towards energy production.
The EDL Edible Fat Differentiators
- FFA below 2% (expected below .2%)
- Low moisture levels <.1%
- Iodine value 40
- Peroxide value 23.19mEq/Kg
- Insoluble impurities <0.01%
- Fresh fat collected on-site with little degradation so it remains very stable
- Clean white colour
- Fully traceable and of British Beef origin with no impurities.
Completing the Cycle
Nutrients and microbes in the soil nourish the plants that begin the food chain and feed us all. The end of that chain has been largely ignored, crowding landfills and going unused. EDL completes the cycle by returning those nutrients and microbes to the soil to feed the next cycle.