Animal product

A dish called "Duck, Duck, Duck" because the three parts come from the complex body of the duck: duck eggs, duck confit and roast duck breast
Varieties of goat cheese

An animal product is any material derived from the body of an animal. Examples are fat, flesh, blood, milk, eggs, and lesser known products, such as isinglass and rennet.[1]

Animal by-products, as defined by the USDA, are products harvested or manufactured from livestock other than muscle meat.[2] In the EU, animal by-products (ABPs) are defined somewhat more broadly, as materials from animals that people do not consume.[3] Thus, chicken eggs for human consumption are considered by-products in the US but not France; whereas eggs destined for animal feed are classified as animal by-products in both countries. This does not in itself reflect on the condition, safety, or "wholesomeness" of the product.

Animal by-products are carcasses and parts of carcasses from slaughterhouses, animal shelters, zoos and veterinarians, and products of animal origin not intended for human consumption, including catering waste. These products may go through a process known as "rendering" to be made into human and non-human foodstuffs, fats, and other material that can be sold to make commercial products such as cosmetics, paint, cleaners, polishes, glue, soap and ink. The sale of animal by-products allows the meat industry to compete economically with industries selling sources of vegetable protein.[4]

The word animals includes all species in the biological kingdom Animalia. For example, insects, shrimp, and oysters are animals.

Generally, products made from fossilized or decomposed animals, such as petroleum formed from the ancient remains of marine animals, are not considered animal products. Crops grown in soil fertilized with animal remains are rarely characterized as animal products.

Several popular diet patterns prohibit the inclusion of some categories of animal products and may also limit the conditions of when other animal products may be permitted. This includes but isn’t limited to secular diets; like, vegetarian, pescetarian, and paleolithic diets, as well as religious diets, like kosher, halal, mahayana, macrobiotic and sattvic diets. Other diets, such as vegan-vegetarian diets and all its subsets exclude any material of animal origin.[5] Scholarly, the term animal source foods (ASFs) has been used to refer to refer to these animal products and byproducts collectively.[6]

In international trade legislation, the terminology products of animal origin (POAO) is used for referring to foods & goods that are derived from animals or have close relation to them.[7]

Slaughterhouse wasteEdit

Slaughterhouse waste

Slaughterhouse waste is defined as animal body parts cut off in the preparation of carcasses for use as food. This waste can come from several sources, including slaughterhouses, restaurants, stores and farms. In the UK, slaughterhouse waste is classed as category 3 risk waste in the Animal By-Products Regulations, with the exception of condemned meat which is classed as category 2 risk.

Byproducts in pet foodEdit

The leftover pieces that come from the process of stripping meat from animals tends to get used for different purposes. One of them is to put these parts into pet food.[8] Many large, well-known pet food brands use animal by-products as protein sources in their recipes. This can include animal feet, livers, lungs, heads, spleens, etc or an admixture in the form of meat and bone meal. These organs are usually not eaten by humans depending on culture, but are safe and nutritious for pets regardless. Byproducts can also include bad-looking pieces. They are always cooked (rendered) to kill pathogens.[8] Some pet food makers advertise the lack of byproducts to appeal to buyers, a move criticized for contributing to food waste and reducing sustainability.[9]


Non-food animal productsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Unklesbay, Nan. World Food and You. Routledge, 1992, p. 179ff.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ockerman, Herbert and Hansen, Conly L. Animal by-product processing & utilization. Technomic Publishing Company Inc., 2000, p. 1.
  5. ^ Stepaniak, Joanne. Being Vegan: Living with Conscience, Conviction, and Compassion. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000, p. 7.
  6. ^ Adesogan, Adegbola (14 October 2019). "Animal source foods: Sustainability problem or malnutrition andsustainability solution? Perspective matters". Global Food Security: 100325. doi:10.1016/j.gfs.2019.100325. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  7. ^ Animals and animal products: international trade regulations
  8. ^ a b "Byproducts".
  9. ^ "A big pawprint: The environmental impact of pet food". Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School. 8 February 2018.

Further readingEdit