AUSTIN, MN--The food company that gave the world Spam is teaming up with General Motors Corp. to use pork and turkey byproducts to help make car parts.

Hormel Foods Corp. will supply GM with a binding agent made from the animal protein collagen. Called GMBond, the agent will be used to form the sand molds needed for casting metal parts. "Who would have guessed that a food product would be used in the production of your automobile's engine block?" says Joel Johnson, Hormel's president, chairman and CEO.

Traditionally, toxic chemicals have been used to bind sand to create molds. As a result, the sand is not recyclable. GMBond is an alternative to those chemicals. Sand treated with the new agent can be recycled and does not represent a pollution hazard.