Certain animal by-products have found complementary outlets in many industrial niche markets, but with the exception of tallow and other species fat, animal byproduct protein factions have been processed for their utilization as livestock, poultry, companion animal, and aquaculture feed ingredients. Tallow gained its prominence as an industrial ingredient for the soap, candle, cosmetic, and oleochemical industries. Animal fat utilization typically involves the production of lubricants, fatty acids, and glycerol. These fatty acids have primary industrial manufacturing uses for surfactants, soaps, plastics, resins, rubber, lubricants, and defoaming agents. Actual volume utilization for industrial uses of animal fats is not available. Worldwide, all the animal fats represent approximately 15% of the total production of all fats and oils. Tallow and grease are important commodities, and when lard is added to the total volume, rendered meat fats constitute the third largest commodity after soybean oil and palm oil. The United States produces in excess of 50% of the world's tallow and grease. Tallow has been the primary animal fat for soap making, as lard and grease yield lower-quality soap. The USDA estimate of the current usage of tallow in producing soap is now less than
6% of domestic production, compared to 72% in 1950 and 27% in 1965. Thus, the usage in soap is still an important volume, but its use as feed ingredients both domestically and as a product for export now commands its largest utilization.
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