Bovine and ovine meat co-products valorisation opportunities: A systematic literature review

Website Link (Journal by Shirsath et. al. 2021)


  • Meat co-products can be a valuable source of biomass.
  • They can be used to produce food, feed, fibre, fuel and fertilizer.
  • They also have many high value applications, e.g. bio-medical and oleo-chemical.
  • Valorisation will require changes to industry operational and business practices.
  • The industry can address sustainability challenges through bioeconomy principles.



Everyday operations in the red meat industry generate large quantities of offal and meat co-products. These traditionally are not valued as highly as prime cuts of meat, and can represent a threat to the environment and human health, if not disposed of or processed properly.

In this way, they can represent a cost rather than a potential income stream. A requirement to sustainably feed a growing global population, and to find renewable bio-based alternatives to fossil-derived food, feed, materials and energy, provide new valorisation opportunities for such biomass.

Scope and approach

To identify such opportunities, a systematic literature review was undertaken, considering edible and inedible offal and co-products as raw materials. The initial search of academic databases identified 11,058 papers of potential relevance.

Following removal of duplicates, out of topic articles, articles for which a full-text was not available and other quality related factors, 23 review papers and 94 full research papers remained for analysis.

Key findings and conclusions

The results highlight the large variety of potential products that can be produced from meat co-products and offal, including applications in food and human nutrition, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, oleo-chemical, animal feed, pet-food and fertilizer.

Capitalising on these opportunities is likely to require demonstration and industrial-scale development, and changes to operational as well as current business practices within the industry.

However, the creation of a circular bio-economy model with positive economic, environmental, and social impacts will increasingly be required to enable the industry to address challenges relating to sustainability.


Published by RenSun Lee

Kia ora! Sustainability is at the core of my soul ever since I was a kid. I always strive to finish the food on my plate and live as a minimalist. I love to cut down on waste in order to live sustainably and harmoniously with our planet. This brings me to my passion as a Food Scientist to integrate new technologies into innovative and creative solutions to meet customer demands and market trends and to optimize products and processes for quality, savings and sustainability. To these goals, I have published a Journal on my work on sustainable packaging and patented a new Antimicrobial wash. Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and smart at the workplace and playing hard outside of working hours. I enjoy rejuvenating myself through spending quality time with my two adorable kids and my awesome soul mate and getting close to nature when possible, be it gardening, tramping or going to the beach. I also love to learn about our magnificent universe and how sustainability is working in the grand scheme of things. I strongly believe that Work, Life & Balance is the key to a healthy state of mind, both physically and mentally. I look forward to making a positive difference wherever and whenever I can. Through this Blog, I hope to catalog recent Food Trends and Food Technologies that I come across so that anyone who is interested can have access to it (articles and resources). Please use these resources at your discretion. On top of that, I would also like to share related news and technologies of the future that would help mankind advance towards a Type 1 Civilization. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share and contribute to the “Resources“. I would like to thank you in advance for dropping by. I sincerely hope that you can benefit from the recent Food Trends and Food Technologies I catalogued. Kind regards | Ngā mihi RenSun Lee

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