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Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and Bioprocess Coproducts

Montross, Michael
University of Kentucky
Start date
End date
This project focuses on raw grain supply to and coproducts manufactured by the grain and biorefinery processing industries. Delivering low-cost, food-safe, bio-secure, and high quality cereals and oilseeds for food, feed, fuel, and industrial uses requires a systems approach.

Therefore, the NC-213 objectives for the next 5-year cycle are revised to focus on three interrelated goals:

  1. To characterize quality attributes and develop systems to measure quality of cereals, oilseeds, and bioprocess coproducts
  2. To develop methods to maintain quality, capture value, and preserve food safety at key points in the harvest to end product value chain
  3. To quantify and disseminate the impact of market-chain technologies on providing high value, food-safe, and bio-secure grains for global markets and bioprocess industries.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: NC-213 engineers, entomologists, plant pathologists, grain/food scientists and economists continue to investigate and address grain quality issues such as breakage of corn during handling and transport, stress cracking of corn during drying, development of instruments to measure grain quality attributes, and development of sensors to monitor grain quality. Other topics involve alternative technologies and practices to protect grain from insect and fungal pests and processing practices to insure the quality and safety of various end products. In addition, the group has expanded to look at quality management and assurance systems for identity preservation/traceability. This multi-state project provides an opportunity for team members and industry stakeholders to interact and collaborate on addressing specific engineering, scientific, and economic issues associated with project objectives. In addition to quality, both crop yields and processing efficiency are primary concerns for the emerging biofuels industry. For example, increased corn production will lead to a higher percentage of corn-on-corn rotations that in turn will increase the occurrence of several pest species including mycotoxin producing fungi (e.g., Fusarium, Aspergillus spp). These fungi are known to affect quality, quantity, and ultimately the ability to produce sufficient quantities of grain for feed, fuel, and food. Developing new technologies to detect mycotoxins and reduce mycotoxin levels will be important. Economic models accounting for additional resources required to maintain crop quality over longer periods of time will be critical to the cereal and oilseed industry. Co-products such as DDGS must now be considered. The biofuels industry demands a high-quality corn feedstock with low grain damage and very low mycotoxin levels due to the importance of producing a high-value DDGS co-product along with ethanol and biodiesel. In addition, identification of grain types and agronomic practices that result in high raw material to fuel conversions during processing will be necessary to help ensure the industry economic viability.

APPROACH: In this research project, the material properties (coefficient of internal friction, coefficient of friction on building materials, and other relevant properties) of bioprocessing coproducts as a function of moisture content and source will be measured. In addition, the storability of bioprocessing coproducts will be evaluated.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
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Food Defense and Integrity
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants