Emu's are large, flightless birds belonging to the same group as ostriches. The emu has long been a favourite of the Australian aborigines for its meat and oil. Emu oil comes from the animals meat and therefore cannot be extracted while the bird is alive. Emu meat and oil have become so popular that emu ranches are cropping up in Australia and the United States and the emu's are raised for the sole purpose of butchering for the meat and oil.
How Emu Oil is Removed from the Animal
Emu oil is actually found in a thick pad of fat that is located on the back of the emu. The fat is separated from the meat. Next, the fat is removed from the skin, ground and then melted. Then the emu oil is sent through the processing phase, during which it is filtered, refined, sterilised and deodorised. However, not all emu oil goes through all these steps. Some emu oil is simply filtered and still contains contaminants and bacteria.
Properties of Emu Oil
After rendering, the emu oil has less than 5 per cent fatty acids in the oil. Once the oil is completely processed, there is no fatty acid in the final product. Emu oil extraction and processing is a lengthy process but the properties of emu oil may be worth the effort. Emu oil is hailed as a topical application for arthritis and inflammation. It is also used to treat burns and can be a skin penetrating and moisturising agent.