Food safety is a basic requirement for the production of foodstuffs.
Belgium is home to many and various production units manufacturing crude and refined vegetable oils, proteins and refined animal fats.
Seed, bean and germ oilsSeed, bean and germ oils have a relatively high unsaturated fatty acid content and are liquid at room temperature. They are important ingredients in the production of margarine, salad oils, cooking oils and frying oils, to name but a few examples. Depending on their botanic origin, these oils also contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6 and vitamin E. The fatty acids from linseed (also known as flaxseed) oil are significantly unsaturated, which is an added value when using linseed oil in, for example, foodstuffs, paint, printing inks, cleaning products, linoleum and wood protection products.
Feed materialsWhen rape, soya and sunflower seed oil is extracted from rapeseed, soya beans and sunflower seeds, respectively, meal is produced that is a source of protein for the animal feed industry. When linseed oil is pressed from linseeds, linseed expeller is produced that is a source of protein and fat for animal feed. The crude vegetable oils and fats that are released when pressing/crushing/extracting oil-containing seeds and the raw animal fats that are released when melting down edible animal by-products are usually refined for use in the food industry. Refined oils and fats also find their way into animal feed and various technical applications. The refining of oils and fats produces by-products (fatty acid distillates and acid oils) that have an energy value for the animal feed industry.
Animal fatsBeef drippings contains relatively high levels of saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids. It is a heat-resistant and stable medium for frying at high temperatures. Lard from pigs contains relatively high levels of unsaturated fatty acids in comparison to beef fat. It finds its way into margarine and bread improvers and is used as a sandwich spread. Poultry fat contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids.
Production of oil for biodieselVegetable oil as a raw material for the production of biodiesel helps in reducing the dependency of the EU on fossil fuels and in decreasing greenhouse emissions from transport.