Animals have ductless (endocrine) glands that secrete hormones, and ducted glands and organs that release enzymes and other biologically active molecules. Many biological chemicals can be recovered. A description of the animal glands and the medicinal and pharmaceutical uses of by-products is given in References 15 to 17.
The glands and tissues used for producing fine chemicals represent a small portion of the animal's live weight. Age, sex, and species of the animal determine the content of the active material. Most glands are very perishable and must be processed quickly to limit autolysis and microbial activity. The logistics of collecting sufficient raw material to operate a fine chemical plant or process usually limit operations either to larger meat plants or to centralized processing of material from many small plants.
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