Corn Distiller's Oil Finds New Purpose in Poultry Feeds

US - Including corn distiller’s oil in poultry rations helps provide carotenoid pigments to the birds, giving added value, according to a US Grains Council (USGC) research project conducted in conjunction with North Carolina State University.
calendar icon 11 January 2016
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Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments used to enhance egg colour and the skin colour of broilers.

This is important as many poultry consumers around the world prefer a yellow-skinned chicken and a dark yellow egg yolk.

The 56-day feeding trial was performed in broilers to determine if the carotenoids in corn distiller’s oil, sometimes referred to as CDO, could be transferred to them.

At the end of the study, researchers found the carotenoids in corn distiller’s oil add an additional value of $0.05 of value per kilogram of corn distiller’s oil. For a 100 million gallon ethanol plant, this new use could translate into an additional $500,000 in revenue annually.

“The conclusions from this study are particularly important in some of the export markets where we work, like Mexico, and could bring additional value to our ethanol members who can sell CDO for both energy value and its carotenoid value,” said Kurt Shultz, USGC senior director of global strategies.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the US ethanol industry produced 2.5 billion pounds of corn distiller’s oil in 2014.

“What makes this study unique is that most ethanol plants sell corn distiller’s oil on an energy value basis,” Mr Shultz said. “However, if they are able to find customers who value the carotenoids, there are new opportunities to create additional value.”

Dr Peter Ferket from the university will present the results of the study at the upcoming Atlanta International Poultry Expo at the end of January.

In the meantime, the Council is planning feeding trials in Mexico to demonstrate this added value to the Mexican poultry industry and outreach domestically to ensure the US ethanol industry is aware of the market opportunity.

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