Feather protein hydrolysis

Extract protein hydrolysates from feathers with microbial enzymes as a valuable source of proteins for pet food and animal feed.

Chicken among chickens

Turn feathers into profit

Enzymes let producers convert feather waste into profit by creating high-quality feather meal. Enzymatic hydrolysis efficiently breaks down the feather proteins to make them digestible, delivering accessible nutrition for animal feed and pet food.

The challenge

Every year, millions of tons of valuable poultry feathers go to waste. Feathers from poultry slaughter can comprise 5–7% of poultry body weight, posing a waste management problem. Containing 80–90% keratin, feathers could be an excellent source of protein for producers of animal feed and pet food. But poor digestibility of feather proteins has limited their market potential.


Save energy, time and costs

Since the enzymatic process uses mild cooking conditions, it saves energy and time. The feather meal also has less odor and a lighter color.  

Enzymatic hydrolysis lets producers reduce cooking temperatures and save 10–15% on energy costs compared to standard steam pressure cooking. Enzymes also efficiently tackle fat balls, which require time- and energy-consuming sieve separation before milling. 

pet food inside food bowl

Explore the benefits

Produce protein-rich animal protein hydrolysates from feathers with microbial enzymes. Enzymes are natural and environmentally friendly processing aids that can extract value from animal coproducts offering high yield. Feather protein hydrolysates can be used as valuable protein ingredients for pet food and animal feed.

Get the free brochure to learn more about microbial enzymes for animal protein extracts.

Unlock new value from feathers brochure

Understanding market demand

With Novozymes, you can design your optimal feather protein hydrolysate as well as the process that yields most profit. The demand for additional protein sources in feed manufacture is growing, with rigorous quality and digestibility requirements. Feather hydrolysis is a sustainable way to derive additional value from your co-products.

Chicken in nature

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