Chicken feathers are waste products of the poultry industry. Billions of kilograms of waste feathers are generated each year by poultry processing plants, creating a serious solid waste problem. Traditional disposal strategies of chicken feather are expensive and difficult. They are often burned in incineration plants, buried in landfills, or recycled into low quality animal feeds. However, these disposal methods are restricted or generate greenhouse gases and sulphur oxides. Feathers are source of high quality proteins, such as keratins, which belong to the family of fibrous intermediate filament proteins and are the basic building blocks, other than feathers, also of hair, wool and the outer layer of human, epidermis and nails. Keratins, due to their unique chemical composition, biological activity and biocompatibility, have been extensively explored for applications in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and fertilizer industries. KERAPACK proposes an innovative technological approach to reduce, recycle and reuse poultry feathers by design and develop novel packaging products based on keratins that can have an high impact on the market and a strong reduction on waste materials.
Coordinator, MANUNET EU Project