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Meat in Ice Cream: A Nutritious Way to Use Animal Byproducts?

Meat in Ice Cream: A Nutritious Way to Use Animal Byproducts?

Scientists have devised a way to reduce waste from the meat industry while creating new products for those (the elderly, athletes in training) who need easily digestible protein: process the meat by-products and put them in ice cream.

No, I didn’t make that up!

A process to make use of more of the by-products from the meat industry has been devised by scientists who are part of a project funded by the European Union, PROSPARE. Currently, almost 50 percent of the animal weight processed in the meat industry ends up as compost or is incinerated.

Those animal by-products still contain lipids and proteins. Turning the lipids into biodiesel has proved expensive. Efforts to reuse the proteins have been slightly more successful: 22 percent of the leftover meat has been turned into feed while just about 3 percent is consumed as food. But the methods used are energy-intensive, still leave quite a lot of waste and create products with “meals with poorer digestibility and nutrient properties.”

The new process (pdf) developed under PROSPARE uses enzymes (such as the pancreatic protease enzyme) to turn poultry bone and feathers and meat trimmings into proteins called “functional animal proteins hydrolyzates.” Hydrolyzed protein is protein that has been broken down into its component amino acids. Protein hydrolyzates made from eggs, buttermilk or fish are already available and can be used as supplements for an athlete’s diet (to help build up muscle tissue) and as additives in processed food. These processed meat byproducts have been shown to be prebiotic, antimicrobiotic and antioxidant.

Putting these animal protein hydrolyzates into ice cream is not exactly the scientists’ plan for their product. A Belgian company, PROLIVER, makes dietary, health and sports food supplements and hopes to use the newly created PROSPARE product. Indeed, the company already produces protein powder made from both chicken and turkey as well as a protein hydrolysate powder.

A partner company from Russia, Mobitek-M, makes protein-rich products and is planning on putting them into ice cream. In fact, Mobitek-M has already constructed a plant in Russia which, according to Science Daily, is poised to begin “transforming functional animal protein at a capacity of one hundred tonnes per day.”

Since ice cream (not, of course, versions made from soy, rice or nut milk, or fruit-based products like sorbets) is made from milk, eating a creamy frozen dessert that has its protein content boosted from animal protein hydrolyzates might not make too much of a difference to some. Such protein-enriched ice cream might be a way for those who can’t digest more solid foods to get in more nutrients besides drinking products such as Ensure. People have indeed been making bacon ice cream (and a company called Arrfscarf also makes ice cream for dogs in flavors including beef brisket, chicken cheddar and gouda burger).

Will products containing protein hydrolysate powder be clearly labeled as containing animal products? Not everyone is going to know that such an ingredient is made from meat. Given the recent horsemeat scandal in Europe, in which numerous products (frozen lasagne, hamburgers, Swedish meatballs sold in IKEA stores) were found to contain horsemeat despite the labels not mentioning this at all, a consumer who is vegetarian has reason to wonder and certainly to exercise caution.

Could meat ice cream be the answer not only to provide protein for those who are elderly and ill, but for children who are picky eaters? Or is this attempt to use up wasted leftovers from meat processing well-meant, but only creating more over-processed food products?

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Photo from wallyg/Flickr

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211 comments

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7:49PM PDT on Aug 2, 2013

How gluttonous can you be?????? Yuk!

8:47AM PDT on Jun 30, 2013

thanks for sharing

9:39PM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

Yikes :(

3:39AM PDT on May 31, 2013

Dale, just read your comment about "outsourcing" and importing ice cream from China. I agree, completely with what you said. If some here had a clue, they'd stop screaming about being "underpaid". It's all over my nightly news about fast food workers here, going on strike because they think they're working for "slave wages" at minimum wage, which in Washington State, is $9.05/hour. They are demanding being paid at least $15/hour. I know of skilled workers such as welders and roofers who aren't paid that much! Why should somebody sitting at a window at Taco Bell get $15/hour? If they had half a brain, they'd know that they're going to price themselves out of a job and it will just end up with themselves being replaced with automation and/or robots. We already have that with ATM's at banks.

5:21AM PDT on May 30, 2013

this is terribly cruel. Will not be eating ice cream anymore unless its all natural that's for sure

5:51PM PDT on May 29, 2013

Ice cream really? I just got inspired to make my own.

10:24PM PDT on May 28, 2013

This crap doesn't even look good together!
YUCK! NOT US!
SURE HOPE THEY DON'T TRY TO SNEAK THIS IN FOR THE ELDERLY AT REST HOMES AND ETC!! OR TO THE SCHOOL KIDS AGAIN! THEY NEVER LEARN!
NOT GOING TO SELL US ON THIS!
WANT TO EAT THE REAL FOOD!
IF WE WANTED IT ALL MIXED UP WE COULD DO IT OURSELF!
THANK YOU

7:17AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Arghhhhh........

4:20AM PDT on May 28, 2013

I'm glad I don't eat any animal related product, this is a disgrace of humanity.
We humans are the only stupid animal who is good for nothing but consuming other living beings, not even our crap can be use for plants.
Shame is all I have to say.

2:27AM PDT on May 28, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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