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Determination of potential human health benefits from diets containing corn distillers coproducts

Read the complete report: Determination of potential human health benefits from diets containing corn distillers coproducts

About this report:
The goal of this project was to identify whether there were potential health benefits for humans from corn-based distillers coproducts created during the production of ethanol. Potential health impacting components of DDGS were determined from samples provided by sixteen ethanol plants located across the United States. Tocopherols, tocotrienols, and total antioxidants were evaluated as potential health impacting components. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and peroxide values were measured to indicate the degree of oxidation in the DDGS samples and diets prepared with DDGS. Data on lutein, zeaxanthin, and ferulic acid will be available at a later date.

The mice fed control diets and diets containing DDGS showed minimal differences in weight gain, development of atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease), and serum cholesterol.  No clear impact on health was found in the mice fed diets containing DDGS. Further research will be needed to establish whether DDGS have use as a human health nutraceutical.

Project outcomes:
The value of ethanol coproducts will be increased if they can be used as a functional food/nutraceutical ingredient for human health rather than being strictly used as an animal feed ingredient. This could potentially change the marketing strategy and profit margins of an ethanol plant where higher value and increased margins from distillers’ coproducts would allow an ethanol plant to sell ethanol at a lower price and still remain profitable. The knowledge gained through this report will allow us to better determine what additional research is needed.


Minnesota Corn Growers
University of Minnesota

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