Pelletising Possibilities Increase Feeding Options For DDGS

US - One hundred per cent of dried distiller's grains with solubles (DDGS), a by-product of ethanol production, can be pelletised without adding a binding agent or anything else, according to USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.
calendar icon 26 June 2007
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ARS agricultural engineer Kurt Rosentrater at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, Brookings, South Dakota, has turned DDGS from corn-based ethanol production into high-quality pellets using processing equipment at a commercial feed mill.

And his works shows that the process and heating used in pelletising did not harm the high-protein, low-starch nutrient content of the DDGs. The finding could open the door to more marketing options including the aquaculture business.

DDGS is the protein, fat, fibre, unconverted starch and ash left over after ethanol production. To date, there are no commercial DDGS pellets available for livestock, which limits the by-product’s use as a raw material and/or the opportunities farmers may have to include this economic food source within their livestock rations.

Cattle feed is currently the primary outlet for distiller's grain, but it is also a suitable food source for other livestock such as pigs and poultry - it could also be used successfully as an alternative to fishmeal protein in farmed fish diets.

These findings are a significant breakthrough for nutritionist and the feed industry. The pelletising work also promises to solve a growing problem of product deterioration—as well as hardening and caking problems during the transport and storage of animal feed.

Nationwide, ethanol production is more than five billion gallons a year, and that amount will increase as new plants begin production.

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