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Alkaline Hydrolysis of Prion-Positive Materials For the Production of Non-Ruminant Feed

Investigators
VerCauteren, Kurt; Sofos, John; Smith, Gary; Scanga, John; Powers, Barbara; Nash, Paul; Murphy, Ryan; Belk, Keith
Institutions
Colorado State University
Start date
2006
End date
2007
Objective
Demonstrate the efficacy, safety, and economics of converting Bovine SRM�s into safe non-ruminant animal feed products or biofuels.
More information
Findings: Preliminary validation research performed by Colorado State University has demonstrated the efficacy of alkaline hydrolysis to inactivate biological materials (i.e., carcasses) contaminated with high loads of thermophilic bacterial spores and vegetative cells.

A collaborative research project between Colorado State University and the USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services/National Wildlife Research Center initiated a mouse bioassay on December 5, 2006, to investigate the efficacy, safety, and economics of alkaline hydrolysis to inactivate prion-positive materials. The results of the mouse survival assay are still pending at this time. Laboratory results of brains collected from the 2 and 4 month post-inoculation euthanasia periods did not yield any discerning results that could conclusively identify the presence of infectious Scrapie prions. This was expected given the results from published research literature that has identified the incubation period of mouse-adapted Scrapie at approximately 200 � 220 days post-inoculation. The efficacy of rendering and alkaline hydrolysis treatments to reduce or eliminate PrPSc infectivity will be demonstrated by the survival of inoculated mice.

The economics of alkaline hydrolysis was identified to cost approximately $0.16/lb of material hydrolyzed. Given the proximate analysis performed on the effluent or end-product, selling it as a fertilizer or soil amendment is not feasible. It is believed that the cost of transportation and application would surpass its value as a fertilizer. The greatest opportunities that were discovered for effluent use were as a protein additive in non-ruminant animal diets or as a carbon source for anaerobic digestion.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Cattlemen's Beef Assoc.
Project number
BC-2006-6
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens