Fuel for Your Bodyand Car
By Don Comis
June 22, 2007
With an increasing percentage of the nation's corn harvest going
to ethanol production, some are questioning the wisdom of taking away corn as
food for people. But Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist
Rosentrater has a way to at least partially allay that concern: create new
foods from an edible byproduct of ethanol production, distiller's dried grains
The new foods could include cookies, breads and pastas that are low in
calories and carbohydrates, but high in protein and fiber.
Rosentrater, an agricultural engineer at the ARS
Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Brookings, S.D, is working on
many fronts to find new uses for the growing supply of DDGs as ethanol
production roars along. One such front is making a better cookie out of
Rosentrater is working with Padmanaban G. Krishnan, professor and
acting department head of the
of Nutrition, Food Science and Hospitality at South Dakota State
University, and colleagues to make cookies with DDGs flour, substituting it for
more than 50 percent of the wheat flour normally used.
The cookies are smaller than those made with all-wheat flour because
the high-protein/low-starch combination keeps the cookie batter from spreading
as easily as batter made with 100 percent wheat. But the batter bakes
consistently. The main problem right now is appeal. The fermentation process
used to make ethanol often imparts a bitter off-flavor and odor to distiller's
grains. That's why, to date, there have been no commercial foods made with
But DDGs flour is often more nutritious than regular flour, because
ethanol processing tends to concentrate the grain's protein and fiber three- to
Research on these uses was done in the 1980s, but interest then waned.
Since 2000, there has been only one published study on food products made with
distiller's dried grains, other than the studies by Rosentrater and colleagues.
Many new ethanol plants are designed for production of food-grade
ingredients. Rosentrater and colleagues are among the few researchers today
dedicated to giving them a way to make products that will sell like hotcakes.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.