Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More About Smithfield BioScience


First and foremost, Smithfield Foods is a food company. We take great pride in producing Good Food. Responsibly.® Part of that responsibility is making sure we utilize the entire animal and minimize waste. There are many parts of the animal that are not typically eaten. However, we have found valuable uses for these parts, such as supplying them to the medical community.

There are striking similarities between hogs and humans, especially as it relates to our DNA and digestive tracts. As a result, hog byproducts have been used for years in various medical procedures. For example, mucosa from the hog’s intestine is used in the production of heparin, a blood thinner that prevents clotting during surgery.

Smithfield BioScience leverages the vertical integration and geographic prominence of Smithfield Foods’ global operations, enabling us to provide raw materials to virtually anyone, anywhere, at any time. Vertical integration is key to traceability of our product, which is vital to the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Also unique to Smithfield BioScience are our on-site testing labs and in-house specialists who are trained to harvest tissues and organs precisely to customer specifications. Smithfield Foods’ hog production and precision genetics capabilities further set us apart from all other raw material providers in this industry.

The Smithfield BioScience team has extensive experience in extracting APIs from porcine tissues, and has the ability to certify strength, quality and potency, and purity of APIs. Smithfield BioScience’s dedicated R&D and regulatory teams can also work alongside our partners to support API development and assist with FDA-required approvals.

By owning our own genetics company – Smithfield Premium Genetics – we can capitalize on our expertise to better understand how porcine genetics can impact organ size, tissue properties and functionality, as well as heparin potency.

Smithfield ensures our hogs have superior genes – NATURALLY.  We are able to achieve this through the science of genomics: taking millions of genetic data points about the animals and their environment and, with the help of sophisticated statistical software, calculating which ones have the gene characteristics we want to see in the next generations of hogs we will raise.

Ractopamine is a safe and effective feed supplement that promotes leanness in animals. While it is legal to use in the United States, ractopamine is banned in several other countries. Because of our global presence and to meet the demand of other countries, Smithfield has removed ractopamine from feed for all company-owned animals supplied to our processing facilities.

Smithfield currently supplies aortas, bladders, brains, eyes, feet, gullets, heart valves, hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs, mucosa, ovaries, pancreas glands, pepsin linings, pericardium sacs, peritoneums, pituitary glands, small intestines, skin, tendons, thyroid glands, and tracheas.

Smithfield prides itself on our ability to track information about the origin of our hogs throughout the entire supply chain for our customers. From the genetics and housing of our hogs to their farms and animal care, to their processing, storage, and distribution – every aspect is tracked to ensure exact specifications are met.

At this stage, Smithfield will not be performing research for human testing. Smithfield will serve as a raw material resource and supply processed material, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and medical device components. Smithfield will also partner with organizations looking to explore technologies in this space.

Although scientists are still in the infancy stages of understanding all the uses for porcine sources in improving human health, they are exploring a variety of organ and skin transplant solutions to minimize human donation rejections and alleviate organ shortages that are seen worldwide. In addition, scientists are exploring how various porcine organs can be leveraged in nutraceuticals.

Smithfield is currently looking at a variety of technologies that utilize porcine organs. Today, Smithfield can sell pancreases and thyroid glands for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical uses. Down the road, we will be exploring the use of all major organs and skin.

Organizations tend to focus heavily on areas and activities that are in their direct space and control. For example, Smithfield Foods has long maintained a focus on quality, and will continue to do so. The same is true of research organizations. By working together, we can better understand each other’s needs and capabilities, thereby moving forward more effectively.

The goal of Smithfield’s partnership with the DOD is to save lives. Using technologies that will be developed with partners in the consortium, we will be able to provide a medical solution for a variety of traumatic events. Smithfield Foods is passionate about the military community and expects that the resulting technologies will benefit both active and retired military personnel, as well as the civilian community.

Smithfield BioScience is not directly involved in organ transplantation, but simply supplies the raw materials to organizations that are exploring new methods and technologies in this space.

Since scientists are in the infancy stages of exploring the use of hogs within human transplantation, we recommend you talk to your health care provider to discuss the specific options currently available to you.

Have more questions about Smithfield BioScience?
We are happy to answer them.

Have more questions about Smithfield BioScience?

We are happy to answer them.