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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NONFOOD UTILIZATION OF CEREAL AND SOY BASED CO-PRODUCTS

Location: Plant Polymer Research

2005 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter?
The goals of this project are to develop new chemistries and processes to enhance the utilization of co-products produced by industrial agricultural processing, thereby generating new markets for these co-products. New industrial markets need to be found for the co-products produced from the corn and soybean refining and bioethanol industries. These co-products have traditionally found outlets in the livestock feeding industry. The increasing supply of co-products is becoming available at the same time that traditional consumption in livestock feed is diminishing. Co-products from other industries, such as fisheries are also adding to the economic pressure of the co-products of corn and soybean refiners. New technology that allows for the conversion of these co-products into new products would not only decrease the chances of these materials being in surplus, but also add an economic benefit to the overall refining process. New uses for the co-products derived from bioethanol fuel production are critical for the success of that industry. Research will center on developing technologies and processes which will impart unique and acceptable properties to plant proteins. The research involves two main objectives, 1: Characterize the physical and chemical properties of the proteins in co-products from cereal and soy processing, and bioethanol production to find unique properties; 2: Utilize their unique properties to produce value added materials such as adhesives, fiber, films, and plastics, as a result of processing and chemical modification.


2.List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan.
Objective 1: YR1: - Extract and purify zein samples. - Develop and evaluate protocols for extraction of germ protein. - Evaluate fluorescent probes to monitor zein reactions.

YR2-YR3: - Determine factors that cause gelation and aggregation in zein solutions. - Optimize for extracting germ protein and characterize functional properties of recovered proteins. - Establish process to enzymatic cross-link zein to itself or other proteins.

YR4-YR5: - Establish process to keep zein from gelling or aggregating while in solution. - Evaluate properties of zein gels and determine value added markets for the gels. - Modification of germ proteins for food and nonfood uses.

Objective 2: YR1: - Demonstrate the functional properties and mixing performance of protein extenders for plywood glue. - Produce protein fractions from soybean meal by UF/DF and traditional methods. - Evaluate the melts of zein, CGM, and DDG in a torque rheometer. - Define classes of compounds that improve zein processibility.

YR2-YR3: - Formulation studies of glue mix: evaluation of plywood processing and adhesive strength. - Characterization of the chemical and functional properties of proteins fractionated by UF/DF. - Evaluate tensile properties of zein, CGM, and DDG produced by extrusion processing and compression molding. - Determine the impact of various chemical modification on zein structure and their impact on rheological properties.

YR4-YR5: - Optimization of formulations for protein extenders in plywood glue and economic analysis. - Process modification or optimization of UF/DF method for protein fractionation. - Optimize compounded zein and CGM for injection molder and analyze materials. - Develop processing model to relate processing conditions with zein properties. - Modify zein through living radical polymerization to olefins.


4a.What was the single most significant accomplishment this past year?
Demonstrated a pilot-scale production of a decolorize, deodorized zein protein isolate (>90% protein) from ground corn meal. Zein protein isolate was extracted from corn meal using 70% aqueous ethanol and purified by using ultrafiltration/diafiltration and activated carbon. Zein isolation as the first step in a bio-ethanol plant will improve the overall economics of fuel ethanol by providing a value added co-product for the process. An international company has evaluated this protein isolate which was found to meet their rigid qualifications. A CRADA with Illinois Corn Marketing Board entitled "Flavor and Color Removal from Corn Zein Products" has recently been extended.


4b.List other significant accomplishments, if any.
Determined that grinding soybean meal to 40-mesh particle size was a beneficial step in preparing soybean meal prior to mixing with other ingredients in the plywood glue formulation (solubility and dispersion markedly improved). This step will allow soybean meal to be used as an extender in plywood adhesives and thereby provide an additional market for soybean meal.

Demonstrated that zein can be extracted in 100% ethanol at temperatures above 90 deg C. This method has the advantage over traditional zein extraction methods of easier zein recovery. When the zein ethanol solution is cooled below 70 deg C, the zein precipitate can be recovered through centrifugation or screening. Traditional methods require drying techniques such as spray drying to drive off the solvent or cryogenic cooling to precipitate zein. This new extraction method has the potential to lower the isolation cost of producing zein, and thereby lowering the price of zein.


4c.List any significant activities that support special target populations.
None.


5.Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact.
This is the first report for this project. Demonstrated a pilot-scale production of a decolorized, deodorized zein protein isolate (>90% protein) from ground corn meal. Zein protein isolate was extracted from corn meal using 70% aqueous ethanol and purified by using ultrafiltration/diafiltration and activated carbon. Zein isolation as the first step in a bio-ethanol plant will improve the overall economics of fuel ethanol by providing a value added co-product for the process. An international company has evaluated this protein isolate which was found to meet their rigid qualifications. A CRADA with Illinois Corn Marketing Board entitled "Flavor and Color Removal from Corn Zein Products" has recently been extended.

Determined that grinding soybean meal to 40-mesh particle size was a beneficial step in preparing soybean meal prior to mixing with other ingredients in the plywood glue formulation (solubility and dispersion markedly improved). This step will allow soybean meal to be used as an extender in plywood adhesives and thereby provide an additional market for soybean meal.

Demonstrated that zein can be extracted in 100% ethanol at temperatures above 90 deg C. This method has the advantage over traditional zein extraction methods of easier zein recovery. When the zein ethanol solution is cooled below 70 deg C, the zein precipitate can be recovered through centrifugation or screening. Traditional methods require drying techniques uch as spray drying to drive off the solvent or cryogenic cooling to precipitate zein. This new extraction method has the potential to lower the isolation cost of producing zein, and thereby lowering the price of zein.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Zein extraction methods and technologies to produce odorless and tasteless zein have been passed on to bio-ethanol producers. The co-product streams of bioethanol producers have been analyzed for their zein extraction potential. This information is being transferred to an ethanol producer in an effort to form a CRADA.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
None.


Review Publications
Lawton Jr, J.W., Selling, G.W., Willett, J.L. 2004. Corn gluten meal as thermoplastic resins[abstract]. American Chemical Society Meeting. p.68.

Selling, G.W., Sessa, D.J. 2004. Effect of orientation on physical properties of zein based films[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.45.

Lawton Jr, J.W., Sessa, D.J., Selling, G.W., Willett, J.L. 2004. Zein: a new look at an old industrial protein[abstract]. Association American Cereal Chemists. p.53:138.

Hojillaevangelist, M.P. 2004. Development of soy protein-based foamed plywood glues[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.231.

Hojillaevangelist, M.P., Evangelista, R.L. 2004. Properties of proteins in lesquerella, cuphea and milkweed seeds[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.75:50.

Selling, G.W., Sessa, D.J. 2004. Reaction of zein with suitable reagents to induce cross-links[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.74:49.

Selling, G.W., Sessa, D.J. 2004. Rheological studies of zein in non-aqueous solutions[abstract]. BioEnvironmental Polymer Society. p.49:122.

Lawton Jr, J.W. 2004. Preparation of starch nanoparticles without surfactants[abstract]. BioEnvironmental Polymer Society. p.74:63.

Selling, G.W., Sessa, D.J. 2005. Factors that influence physical properties of zein based articles[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.124.

Sessa, D.J., Hamaker, S.A., Selling, G.W. 2005. Comparison of chemically-modified zeins using a bis-aldehyde versus a carbodiimide[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.161.

Hojillaevangelist, M.P., Evangelista, R.L. 2005. Effects of cooking and screw-pressing on functional properties of cuphea proteins[abstract]. American Chemical Society. p.99.

Biswas, A., Sessa, D.J., Lawton Jr, J.W., Gordon, S.H., Willett, J.L. 2005. Microwave assisted rapid modification of zein by octenyl succinic anhydride[abstract]. Cereal Chemistry. 82(1):1-3.

Hojillaevangelist, M.P., Sessa, D.J., Mohamed, A. 2004. Functional properties of soybean and lupin protein concentrates produced by ultrafiltration-diafiltration. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society. 81(12):153-1157

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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