Frequently Asked Questions

 

Question: How many projects has the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) funded?
The FPRF has funded over 600 research projects on a wide variety of topics, ranging from livestock nutrition to investigating if nanoparticles could help with odor problems and many issues in between. A wide variety of disciplines have been represented in FPRF-funded studies.

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Question: Is FPRF and the National Renderers Association (NRA) the same?
Although FPRF and NRA were founded by and represent renderers, they are not the same. They are separate organizations. FPRF is the research foundation of the U.S. and Canadian rendering industry and also includes international members. NRA is the trade association that advocates for the rendering industry in the U.S. and Canada. Being an NRA member does not make a company an FPRF member and vice versa. Both groups share staff to increase synergy between the two organizations. FPRF often funds research that provides information that NRA uses to develop policy recommendations, educational campaigns, recommendations for member companies, and other efforts to benefit the industry.

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Question: When was FPRF founded?
FPRF was chartered in 1962 to establish a research program to enhance usage of rendered animal products, improve processes used to make them, and develop novel applications. FPRF and Clemson University jointly established the Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC) at Clemson University in 2004. FPRF also funds projects at other universities in North America.

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Question: What is ACREC?
The Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina was founded in 2004 with the mission to:

  • Advance the science and technology of animal co-products and the rendering process
  • Ensure microbial safety of rendered products for animal feeds and consumer protection
  • Promote environmentally sound practices
  • Develop new market opportunities for the worldwide rendering industry
  • Provide educational opportunities in animal co-product utilization.

Projects funded through ACREC represent a wide diversity in different fields and areas of novel and highly innovative research.

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Question: How does research benefit the rendering industry?
Research funded by FPRF is done for the good of the entire rendering industry. For example, FPRF research demonstrated that bacteria is killed during rendering, which helps renderers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act. FPRF research conducted by the University of Georgia proved to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that rendering plants could use fat produced in their own plants for boiler oil without polluting the environment. As a result, the agency approved this practice. Industry needs frequently change and that is reflected in the research focus of FPRF.

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Question: Who does FPRF represent?
Members of FPRF include renderers, associations, and companies associated with the rendering industry, such as suppliers, brokers, customers, or others involved in or related to rendering.

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Question: What kind of research is funded by FPRF?
FPRF-funded research changes based on the rendering industry’s challenges to stay on the cutting edge of industry needs. FPRF has funded research on nutrition for pigs, cattle, pets, aquaculture, and other animals. The foundation has also sponsored research on the quality of rendered ingredients, non-feed uses, and biofuel production from rendered fats and oils. Recently, FPRF research explored ways to increase efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of rendering plants.

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Question: When are proposals due?
Proposals for FPRF funded research are due March 15th and September 15th of each year.

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Question: Which universities have been funded in the past?
A wide variety of universities receive FPRF research grants. Projects are also periodically co-funded with other associations as well as government. Any researcher may apply and each proposal is carefully evaluated.

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Question: It seems like FPRF has funded swine/poultry/etc. nutrition research before. Why repeat it?
Research in general is considered more legitimate if it’s been reproduced. It’s important to fund repeated research because the National Research Council (NRC), organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, produces a guidebook on nutritional guidelines for an array of animals from horses to cats and they base it on published research. Rendered ingredients must be included in the NRC guidebook because most companies use this information to formulate animal diets so there must be published research the NRC can draw from. Each NRC guidebook is updated periodically because as common animal genetics evolve within a breed, nutrition needs occasionally change. Ingredient composition can also change over time. For example, renderers produce a more consistent quality product today than 25 years ago.

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Question: A lot of pet food research has already been done by pet food companies. Why is FPRF funding pet food research?
Pet food companies do research within their company but don’t often publish or share the results since its private information.

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Question: Why does FPRF fund so many similar aquaculture projects?
When a swine project is funded, it essentially applies to all swine. When a fish project is conducted, it does not necessarily apply to all fish. Aquaculture includes hundreds of types of fish, shellfish, cephalopods (like squids), and even alligators! The nutritional needs of fish vary widely due to a number of factors, such as whether they are carnivorous, are bottom feeders, or live in cold or warm water, fresh, brackish or salt water. Feed optimal for trout may not work well for salmon. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing agriculture markets in the world so it’s important to stay at the forefront of its nutritional needs.

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Question: How does this research help meat packers and poultry processors?
Although there are other associations supporting meat producers and poultry processors, FPRF and NRA are the only U.S. organizations that focus solely on rendering. Nutrition research helps establish the benefits of using rendered products in animal diets. Research discoveries about the sustainability of rendering help reduce the environmental footprint of the entire animal agriculture food chain. Work to develop better plant capabilities, such as improving wastewater filtration or negating bad odors, benefits every rendering plant. Meat packers and poultry processors also benefit from research that helps our overseas partners increase demand and sell more rendered product.

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Question: Is nutrition research the only research FPRF funds?
Absolutely not. Although animal nutrition research is an important part of FPRF’s portfolio now and in the past, the foundation has funded research on biofuels, non-feed uses of rendered products, biosecurity/microbiology projects, ways to improve plant operations, and other projects. Please contact info@fprf.com for more information.

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Question: Who can join FPRF?
Companies or organizations are eligible to join FPRF if they produce feed ingredients and/or rendered products, or are affiliated with the rendering industry. FPRF members have a strong interest in supporting the purpose of the foundation and contribute annual dues to advance its mission. Members are located in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere around the world. For more information, please contact info@fprf.com.

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Question: How can I help?
You can get involved in FPRF in two ways. First, you can become a member by contributing to support rendering research. As a member, you are welcome to attend FPRF meetings which are held several times each year. At these meetings, research projects are identified and evaluated, and funding decisions are made. FPRF members also make recommendations for new needed areas of research. The results of completed research are presented at these meetings, which helps members adopt new technologies and processes for greater business efficiency and to comply with regulations.

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