Meat / Bone

Common names

Meat and bone meal, meat meal, slaughterhouse by-product meal

Related feed(s)



Slaughterhouse wastes and dead animals are used to prepare meat and bone meal. Slaughterhouse wastes consist of portions of animals that are not suitable for human consumption, such as carcass trimmings, condemned carcasses, condemned livers, inedible offal (lungs) and bones. Normally hair, hooves and blood are not included. After animals have died their carcasses can be rendered to destroy disease organisms and made also into meat and bone meal.

There can be a wide variation between plants and batches in what goes into the meat and bone meal that is being prepared. If the ash content is high, this indicates that it contains a higher amount of bones and is referred to as meat and bone meal. If the ash content is lower it is referred to as meat meal. Typically when the phosphorus content is above 4.5 % P, then it is called meat and bone meal and when it is below that level it is referred to as meat meal or some other term.

Potential constraints

Prohibition of meat and bone meal in livestock feeding

Meat and bone meal and other processed animal proteins were the vector of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemy in Western Europe in the 1980-1990s . For that reason, many countries have restricted the feeding of meat and bone meal and some only allow meat and bone meal derived from monogastric animals to be fed to ruminant animals and vice versa. Notably the use of meat and bone meal for livestock feeding was banned in 2002 in the European Union (Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002).

It is strongly recommended that potential users check their country's regulations to assess the current status of meat and bone meal regarding its utilization in livestock feeding.

In areas where meat and bone meal is authorized for livestock feeding, the use of proper heat treatment is required to control the spread of BSE and other disease agents such as salmonella.

Nutritional attributes

Meat and bone is an excellent source of supplemental protein and has a well-balanced amino acid profile. Digestibility of the protein fraction is normally quite high, ranging from 81 to 87% . It is well suited for use in feeding monogastric and provides not only a well-balanced protein source, but also a highly available source of calcium and phosphorus. Excessive heating during processing will reduce the digestibility of the protein fraction. Limiting amino acids for swine when combined with cereal grains are lysine, methionine and threonine and for poultry it is methionine and cystine . Meals that have higher protein content, often contains blood and isoleucine may become the first limiting amino acid. The protein quality is lower than fish meal or soybean meal for applications in feeding swine or poultry when used to supplement protein in cereal based diets. Processing temperature was higher correlated with lysine availability, as the temperature increased the lysine availability declined .

In addition to the protein (amino acids) meat and bone meal is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus and some other minerals (K, Mg, Na, etc.). The ash content of the meat and bone meal normally ranges from 28 to 36 %; calcium is 7 to 10 % and phosphorus 4.5 to 6 %. When using meat and bone meal as the primary supplemental protein source the mineral levels may limit its use in some diet formulations. Meat and bone meal like with other animal products is a good source of Vitamin B-12.

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