Submitted to: United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/2/2008
Publication Date: 8/23/2008
Citation: Hojillaevangelist, M.P. 2008. Extraction and characterization of non-zein proteins in corn germ from wet-milling. United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The current fuel energy situation involving escalating gasoline prices and greater demand for biofuels like ethanol are expected to add more co-products from corn processing to an already-saturated market. There is greater urgency to identify and develop novel uses for corn co-products to increase their values and generate new markets for them, which, in turn, will improve the profitability of producing fuel ethanol. Corn germ co-products have received considerable attention from researchers over many years. Corn germ comprises 12% of the total weight of normal dent corn and about 29% of the corn protein (moisture-free and oil-free basis). Of this protein, more than 75% are albumins and globulins, which give higher nutritional value to germ protein than endosperm protein. Most of the germ (germ meal) goes into animal feeds as corn gluten feed, where it serves as a high-protein additive because of the meal’s favorable amino acid balance. Corn germ flour has been reported to have functional properties that have been put to use as extenders, stabilizers, and emulsifiers in ground meats. The high nutritional quality and desirable functional properties of corn germ protein should be exploited for higher-end uses than just for feed. This study was conducted with the following goals: (i) to develop methods to extract corn germ protein economically, (ii) characterize the recovered protein product for composition and chemical and functional properties, and (iii) identify potential applications of the recovered protein.