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P.PIP.0591 - Kilcoy Global Foods (KGF) Nutraceutical strategy

As of 2020, the global nutraceutical market was valued at US$320 billion. The aim of this project is to complete a full review of the low value red meat supply chain so that all additional value add opportunities can be identified.

Project start date: 30 November 2021
Project end date: 29 April 2023
Publication date: 18 October 2023
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle
Relevant regions: Queensland
Download Report (1.1 MB)


Currently, 20% of the carcase delivers 80% of its value, with some parts of the carcase considered as waste, attracting little or no value.
Red meat organs and glands have a rich content of bioactive compounds including:
- proteins
- peptides
- vitamins
- minerals.
They also include other compounds such as:
- carnitine
- taurine
- creatine
- glucosamine sulphate
- albumin
- collagen peptides, etc.

This project looks to understand how underutilised red meat organs and glands can be transformed into nutraceutical ingredients, the costs and returns of doing so, and to identify hurdles to be further addressed.


The aim of this project is to complete a full review of the Kilcoy low value red meat supply chain so that all additional value add opportunities can be identified and evaluated.

Key objectives include:

  • Identify key nutraceuticals market opportunities/barriers/consumer pain points to address for inclusion of beef organ meat and other components.
  • Identify available raw materials and yield and cost impost to harvest and prepare nutraceutical ingredients to desired specifications.
  • Complete a business case, to establish the desirability, feasibility, and viability to establish a commercially sustainable business demonstrating a significant value multiplier for further processing beef organ meat into powders.
  • Develop a network of supply chain partners to procure red meat nutraceutical ingredients necessary to support the consumer demand associated with a range of Australian red meat nutraceutical ingredients.

Key findings

  • Despite additional costs for harvesting, freeze-drying, milling and packing, significantly higher returns can be achieved compared with rendering or whole frozen sale.
  • Depending on the organ, The margin per head (wholesale sales price less additional processing costs) for sale of freeze-dried powders can 100-400 times the margin from rendering, and 5-15 times the margin from sale as frozen organs.

Benefits to industry

This project demonstrates the operational feasibility of harvesting organs and glands from the chain, at the viscera table or from the offal room. Preparation for freeze-drying is no more onerous than when harvesting organs and glands for frozen sale. Items can be stored frozen for freeze-drying. Freeze-drying has shown to be an effective means of converting wet materials to dry milled powders suitable as ingredients for the nutraceutical industry.

MLA action

Final report to be published on MLA website.

Future research

Further critical work in identifying, establishing relationships with, and understanding the nutraceutical ingredient supply chain is required and should be the focus of subsequent projects. Identifying any local players would determine if local freeze-dried powder sales are possible or if sales must be to overseas markets in the Middle East, Europe and USA.

The marketing and sales processes for dry ingredients is different from sales of red meat and fresh/frozen co products and also from meat and bone meal and tallow. A new understanding and skill set is required to realise the potential value increase to the red meat industry.


For more information

Contact Project Manager: John Marten