Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2007
Publication Date: 7/26/2007
Citation: Winkler, J.K., Rennick, K.A., Eller, F.J., Vaughn, S.F. 2007. Phytosterol and tocopherol components in extracts of corn distiller's dried grain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 55:6482-6486.
Interpretive Summary: As the ethanol industry continues to grow, it will become very important to develop high-value markets for its co-products in order for the industry to remain profitable. Corn distillers dried grain (DDG) is a major co-product of ethanol fermentation from corn, but it is primarily sold as livestock feed, which has a relatively low market value. The objective of this research was to determine if valuable plant chemicals can be extracted from DDG. When DDG was extracted with various solvents, some nutritionally important plant chemicals were found. These included phytosterols, which are important cholesterol-lowering substances, and important antioxidants such as Vitamin E. This research indicates that extracts of DDG have high content of certain nutritional plant chemicals, which are often added to foods by the food industry, or used as nutritional supplements. This may provide an additional market for ethanol producers to sell DDG.
Technical Abstract: As the ethanol industry continues to grow, it will become very important to develop value-added markets for its co-products in order for the industry to remain profitable. Corn distillers dried grain (DDG) is a major co-product of ethanol fermentation from corn processed by dry-milling, and is primarily sold as livestock feed. The objective of this research was to determine if valuable phytochemicals found in corn oil and corn fiber oil, such as phytosterols and their saturated equivalents, phytostanols, ferulate phytosterol esters (FPE), tocopherols and tocotrienols, are retained in DDG. Hexane and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extracts of DDG were similar in their concentration of total phytosterols (15.9-17.6 mg/g), FPE (4.3-4.4 mg/g), and gamma-tocopherol (0.85-0.94 mg/g). Ethanol extracts were slightly lower in concentration of phytosterols (8.9-11.2 mg/g), FPE (2.4-3.8 mg/g) and gamma-tocopherol (0.33-0.76 mg/g).