Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Canadian Food
Inspection Agency

Visit website

The BioRefinex thermal hydrolysis process has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as a destructive process for the treatment of Specific Risk Material (SRM). Accordingly, the output from the process would not be subject to further SRM handling restrictions. Of the current CFIA-accepted methods for destruction (incineration, alkaline hydrolysis, and thermal hydrolysis) only thermal hydrolysis contributes to a sustainable environment.

CFIA Regulation

Section 4.9 of CFIA's BSE Manual of Procedures addresses thermal hydrolysis. Note that the procedure described is precisely what was used in the trials in Edinburgh. Following excerpt is taken directly from this Manual:

4.9 Thermal Hydrolysis


  1. SRM is regulated from its point of origin (kill site) until it is destroyed or disposed. This includes the permitting and inspection of all handling, processing and destruction steps.
  2. The CFIA Science Directorate performed a risk assessment on thermal hydrolysis of SRM and determined that, using specific operating parameters, the resulting material discharged at the end of this process presents a negligible risk of transmission of BSE to domestic ruminants. Therefore, thermal hydrolysis is an acceptable method of permanent destruction of abnormal prions that may be present in SRM and is approved by the CFIA as a destruction method.
  3. Based on the conclusion of this risk assessment, output products from approved thermal hydrolysis installations are not subject to further SRM regulatory controls. Depending on their form and intended use, output products remain subject to all other relevant federal legislation as well as all relevant provincial and municipal regulatory requirements.
  4. CFIA-approved thermal hydrolysis of SRM requires operation at 180°C and 1200 kPa for a period of not less than 40 minutes per cycle in an enclosed pressure vessel that is suitable for the purpose required.
  5. Note that the EU standard operating conditions for thermal hydrolysis processing of SRM have not been directly adopted in Canada.