Production of bactericidal peptides from beef residues

Problem statement

The meat industry generates large volumes of by-products (blood, bones, meat trimmings, ...) which are costly to treat and dispose of ecologically. These costs can be balanced by generating value-added products.

Executive summary

Bioactive peptides can be obtained from meat by-products through the application of enzymes that cut or hydrolyse meat proteins at certain points, obtaining peptides of all kinds. The most interesting are those that have a bactericidal function, preventing the growth of bacteria.

Technology description

The production of bioactive peptides from meat by-products is highly researched. Bioactive peptides are sequences generally between 2 and 20 amino acids that exert a biological function in one or more of the human physiological systems. Antimicrobial peptides can modulate the gastrointestinal and immune systems. The use of by-products as a source of bioactive peptides has been extensively studied in recent years. In this regard, blood and collagen, very important by-products from slaughterhouses and the meat industry, have been the most tested. Blood is a rich source of protein where haemoglobin, an iron-containing protein, is the most abundant complex. The use and application of the enzyme pepsin on bovine blood in the presence of 30% alcohol produces peptides with antibacterial activity (Kocuria luteus) that cause pathologies such as endocarditis, septic arthritis, meningitis and lung infections.

Market deployment considerations


Environmental considerations


Technology feedstock

beef residues

Type of process

cascade processing

Technology output

bactericidal peptides



Technology Readiness Level








Technology owner/developer

Institute for Agrochemistry and Food Technology (CSIC)
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