Animal fat

Animal fat

Animal fats are rendered tissue fats that can be obtained from a variety of animals.

Human nutrition

Animal fats are often claimed to be unhealthy owing to their association with high cholesterol levels in the blood. Animal fat contains some cholesterol and saturated fat. While elevated blood cholesterol levels have been linked to heart disease, there is not necessarily a relationship between cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol level.

Some sources of animal fat include blubber, chicken fat, cod liver oil, lard, schmaltz, suet or tallow.

Pet nutrition

In pet nutrition, the source of animal fat concerns food manufacturers. AAFCO states that animal fat is "obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative". In actuality the animal source is not specified or required to give the origin of slaughtered animals. The rendered animals can be obtained from any source. There is no control over quality or contamination and any animal can be used including dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter.

Caloric Equivalent

Assuming the animal fat is purely lipid, then its energy content should be equivalent to 9 kilocalories or 37.656 kilojoules per gram. The energy content of animal fat is identical to other lipids.

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