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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES FOR PROCESSING OF HIDES, LEATHER, WOOL, AND ASSOCIATED BYPRODUCTS Title: Powdered hide for research on tanning mechanisms

Authors
item Brown, Eleanor
item Latona, Renee
item Taylor, Maryann

Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 24, 2009
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Citation: Brown, E.M., Latona, R.J., Taylor, M.M. 2010. Powdered hide for research on tanning mechanisms. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 105(4):116-120.

Interpretive Summary: The conversion of animal hides into leather, the most valuable coproduct of the US meat industry, is a multistep process that has evolved more as art form than as science. A variety of dehairing and other hide preparation processes have been adopted without an understanding of how they affect the chemical and physical properties of the resulting leather. To develop a basis for designing or selecting effective sustainable tanning agents, a suitable model system must include an evaluation of the effects of pretanning steps. We have developed protocols for the production and characterization of research quantities of chrome-free powdered hide from different pretreatments. These methods provide a basis for assessing the effects of different process steps, selecting the best pretanning steps for a proposed new tannage, and comparing the results of studies from different laboratories in the design and development of high quality chrome-free tannages.

Technical Abstract: The conversion of animal hides into leather, the most valuable coproduct of the US meat industry, is a multistep process that has evolved more as art form than as science. A variety of dehairing and other hide preparation processes have been adopted without an understanding of how they affect the chemical and physical properties of the resulting leather. To develop a basis for designing or selecting effective sustainable tanning agents, a suitable model system must include an evaluation of the effects of pretanning steps. A protocol for the production of powdered hide is described. Moisture, ash, total protein as collagen, hydrothermal stability, collagenase resistance, proteoglycan content and molecular weight distribution were compared for powdered hide prepared from bated and not-bated hide. This research provides a basis for assessing the effects of different process steps, and represents an initial step in the development of well-characterized model systems for comparing research from different laboratories on tanning mechanisms.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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