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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Corn Germ Meal As a Source of Fermentable Sugars

Author
item Leathers, Timothy

Submitted to: Corn Utilization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Corn germ meal (defatted germ) is an abundant coproduct of corn oil production, representing approximately half the germ by weight. This material is currently used in low-value animal feeds because of its protein content, typically 23-25% of dry weight. However, germ meal also contains large amounts of fiber (polysaccharides such as arabinoxylan and cellulose). These polymers are a potential source of fermentable sugars. Enzymatic saccharification may be an attractive approach, particularly for the development of integrated or simultaneous processes for bioconversions of fiber. We recently developed a novel method for the enzymatic saccharification of corn fiber, using crude preparations of the highly active endoxylanase (EC 3.2.1.8) from Aureobasidium strain NRRL Y-2311-1. We tested this method against germ meal from wet-milled corn and found that approximately 60 mg glucose, 50 mg xylose and 50 mg arabinose were liberated per g germ meal. Pretreatment with alkaline hydrogen peroxide increased the enzyme susceptibility of meal by more than 3.5-fold. Up to 190 mg glucose, 190 mg xylose and 140 mg arabinose were obtained per g pretreated corn germ meal. Enzymatically-produced glucose and pentose sugars from corn germ meal should be biocompatible substrates for subsequent or simultaneous fermentations to numerous value-added co-products, including ethanol.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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