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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Plant Polymer Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #234198

Title: Pilot process for decolorizing/deodorizing commercial corn zein products

item Sessa, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2009
Publication Date: 4/7/2009
Citation: Sessa, D.J. 2009. Pilot process for decolorizing/deodorizing commercial corn zein products. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Corn zein is the major protein component of ground corn, and co-products of the corn ethanol industry which includes distiller’s dried grains and corn gluten meal. Zein products generated from those materials all possess some degree of yellow color and off-odor that deters their usage in food systems as well as in the medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. A pilot-scale process (patent pending) was developed to purify those products based on the protein and contaminants adsorption characteristics onto activated carbons (ACs) and zeolites (Zs), clay- based particles acting as porous molecular sieves. Statistical analyses of the binding characteristics of protein and contaminants of a series of ACs and Zs demonstrated that ACs from coconut hulls and Zs with a 5 Angstrom pore size proved ideal for adsorbing the least amount of protein relative to adsorption of contaminants. These findings were used to select the media for packing the four columns of our pilot-scale apparatus. The operating principles involve selective sequestration of the low molecular weight contaminants by continuous recycling of the column eluates. Sequential filtration proved to be an alternative to methodologies involving ultrafiltration/diafiltration on a tangential flow system that provided good recoveries of a purified zein product.