Isolating antimicrobial compounds

Dr. Paul Dawson, a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, is leading an effort to isolate antimicrobial compounds from animal co-product extracts.

His fellow ACREC researcher, Dr. Tom Scott of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, has been investigating uses of mammary glands for additives to cell culture growth and other uses. Dr. Dawson and his team are testing these extracts on a variety of bacterial strains to determine if any antimicrobial properties exist.

Thousands of spent dairy cows are slaughtered annually in the United States for meat. The residual inedible material is placed in the rendering stream where it is commingled with other tissues for processing. With high moisture content, mammary tissues do not contribute significantly to the total dry weight of rendered materials. However, as an antimicrobial substance, these materials could be worth thousands of dollars per pound.