Introduction

The terms by-products and coproducts as they relate to animal production are often used interchangeably. The need to debate, which is most appropriate or descriptive, is not extremely important, except to draw attention to one fact. By-product is defined as a secondary product obtained during the manufacture of a principal commodity. Coproduct possesses the meaning of being together or joined. Thus, the important facts for the animal production and processing industries are the utilization and opportunities that exist for the by-products that are produced ancillary to the production of meat, milk, and eggs for human food consumption. The actual value of animal by-products in comparison to the food components has not been determined in composite, nor have published economic projections for the alternative uses for animal-derived tissues, when used as biological and industrial products, been made available. But as one reviews the array of significant products that are derived from animal production and the technical opportunities that exist, one acquires a greater appreciation for their contributions to society.

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