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Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and Bioprocess Coproducts

Wolf-Hall, Charlene
North Dakota State University
Start date
End date
  1. To characterize quality attributes and develop systems to measure the 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.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: NC-213s scientists and economists continue to investigate and address grain quality issues. 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. Because of the industry endowment (provided by The Andersons, Inc.) that led to its formation, NC-213 has always had a very strong industry influence. The meetings are regularly attended by numerous industry representatives from grain handling, marketing and processing companies, allied service suppliers, and equipment manufacturers. Since 2000 there has been an industry advisory board consisting of five elected representatives with its chair serving on NC-213s executive committee. During the 2007 Annual Technical Meeting, a roundtable with five industry representatives discussed trends currently influencing the U.S. and global grain industries, and outlined research needs that NC-213 should address in its next 5-year project cycle. The emerging biofuels industry was the primary focus of the roundtable. 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 industrys economic viability.

APPROACH: 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. NC-213 will continue to have a significant impact on improving the efficiency of the U.S. grain industry and capturing value along the cereals, oilseeds and coproducts supply chains. Although NC-213 is not specifically focused on biofuels, the influence of biofuels on the U.S. grain industry cannot be overlooked. Therefore, NC-213 will address quality issues for food, feed, fuels, coproducts, and the emerging bioproducts industries. NC-213 will continue to have strong ties with industry. This multi-state project will use industry input and collaboration to ensure relevance and to aid in developing initiatives that can obtain extramural funding

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