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% (Kellems et al., 1998). 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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