Recoverable blood constitutes 3–4% of most animals. This blood is often discarded along with other offal. With the right equipment, however, this blood component can be used as raw material for products for human consumption as well as for technical products. Animal blood consists of plasma and red cells (also called haemoglobin). The plasma is a functional protein with commercial potential for human consumption. The red blood cells are usually put to non-edible use, in dried form.
Untreated blood from slaughtered animals can be used as the raw material for a wide range of industrial processes that increase its value and/or make its characteristics more useful.
Alfa Laval provides processing systems that convert technical-grade blood into blood meal with a market value that is significantly higher than that of standard meat and bone meal.
As much as 60% of raw blood is made of plasma, which is a functional protein with considerable commercial potential.
However, these edible proteins must be processed with the utmost care if they are to be sold as a high-value product. Such processing must be configured to ensure gentle treatment that minimizes any shear effects that might rupture the red blood cells.
Processing blood plasma usually involves ultrafiltration, in which the protein is purified and the salt removed, after which the concentrated plasma is frozen or spray-dried.