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Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and Bioprocess Coproducts


<P>To characterize quality and safety attributes of cereals, oilseeds, and their processed products, and to develop related measurement systems. <br/>To develop efficient operating and management systems that maintain quality, capture value, and preserve food safety in the farm-to-user supply chain. <br/>To be a multi-institutional framework for the creation of measureable impacts generated by improvements in the supply chain that maintain quality, increase value, and protect food safety/security. </P>

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<P>NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: In 2011 the United States harvested approximately 84 million acres of corn for grain and cash receipts from sales of corn were estimated at $63.9 billion dollars (U.S.). It also harvested 73.8 million acres of soybeans and 45.7 million acres of wheat worth an estimated $37.6 billion and $14.6 billion dollars (U.S.). NC-213 participants focus their efforts on maintaining the quality and value of these important commodities and many of the co-products produced during processing of these products. Although many of the challenges or concerns facing the industry are not new, the way in which they combine in a given harvest season is often unique. Therefore, continual adaptation and innovation are needed to maintain and improve grain and co-product quality. During the 2012 Annual Technical Meeting, a roundtable consisting of industry representatives discussed trends currently influencing the U.S. and global grain industries, and outlined research needs of the industry. These were combined with the knowledge of NC 213 researchers to give the following listing of challenges that are on the horizon. First, it is likely that the yearly volume of grain produced will continue to increase, requiring an increase in storage, handling, and drying capacity. During recent years the rise in importance of local markets (e.g. ethanol processors) and the desire on the part of producers for more marketing options have led to an increase in the volume of grain stored on farms. At the same time, public concern for food safety has increased and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) of 2012 includes requirements for supplier verification, record keeping, hazard analysis, inspection, and product tracing that will require compliance from sectors of the grain industry. Finally, additional demands are being exerted on grain supplies by new uses for grain (biofuels, bio-products). Together these challenges mean that there will be additional pressures on the industry and its management infrastructure. The opportunities and challenges presented by the above are explained in more detail in the Multistate Research Project Summary. The needs of the industry will be addressed using a collaborative approach to accomplish the following project objectives: 1) development of methods to measure grain quality and methods that preserve and improve quality; 2) development of grain storage, handling and processing systems and strategies that maintain quality, capture value and preserve food safety; and 3) effectively disseminate to the industry, research results and knowledge that can help the industry preserve and improve grain value and quality. We anticipate that the end result will be an increase in overall grain and co-product quality and purity, improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of grain handling, storage and processing facilities and systems, and increased public confidence in the quality and value of their grain based food sources. </P>
<P>APPROACH: Purdue University faculty, staff, and students will participate in NC 213 project activities, which focus on the farm-to-user supply chain that starts with raw grains and ends with processed products. World emphasis on food safety, environmental management, biosecurity, and overall quality continues to increase the need for collaboration across disciplines and institutions in developing solutions to problems and addressing the challenges faced by the farmers and industries in this chain. NC-213's annual technical meetings facilitate the interaction of professionals from USDA, universities, government agencies, and industry. It encourages informal collaborations and, through its funding of team projects, also facilitates formal collaborations among participating organizations and individuals. Purdue faculty, staff and graduate students will participate in these meetings by presenting preliminary data and will also benefit from interaction with others attendees. Purdue personnel will submit research proposals for team and individual competitions. Purdue's planned contributions to the NC-213 objectives are summarized below under each of the NC213 objectives.States that are planning related or similar research are listed using their abbreviations. Objective 1. 1a) Developing Methods to Identify, Measure, and Analyze Quality Attributes (Contributors IA, IL, IN, KS, MO, and USDA-CGAHR). 1.) Develop non-invasive imaging techniques (NIR, soft X-rays, X-ray microtomography) to determine the quality and processing characteristics of grains, oil seeds, and food products. (Contributors IA, IL, KS, IN, KY, USDA). Purdue's efforts will include evaluating the effectiveness of optical sorting for removing corn kernels infected by fungi from a corn lot thereby improving the quality of the corn lot and reducing mycotoxin levels. 2.) Investigate the use of a commercially available CO2 test kit for measuring the susceptibility of shelled corn to growth of storage fungi. Purdue has been conducting tests with the CO2 test kit for almost a decade and believes the test kit has potential for improving the management of stored shelled corn by identifying corn lots that are highly susceptible to invasion by storage fungi and that therefore should be utilized before their quality deteriorates. Approaches to incorporating the test in stored corn management program will be explored and the industry will be educated on the potential use of the test to better manage stored shelled corn. 3) Evaluate corn and soybean kernels to determine differences in properties between normal and diseased kernels. If resources are available, evaluate corn hybrids and soybean varieties to identify those with desirable traits that have added value to processors for specific end uses. Objective 1b) Develop Methods to Preserve and Improve Quality Attributes. (Participants IA, IN, KS, ND, OK, and USDA-CGAHR.) 1.) Investigate physical and chemical processes to remove common mycotoxins (aflatoxins, DON, fumonisins, zearalenone and T-2 toxins) in dried distillers grains with solubles. Approaches include pre-cleaning and sorting and application of physical and chemical treatments. (This is an NC213 Team Project involving IN and ND.)2.) Develop methods for determining caking potential of dried distillers grains with solubles. 3) Develop systems that reduce the cost of storing grain in large storage structures (i.e., large diameter steel bins, bunkers and circular ground piles) and improve the post-storage quality of grains stored in those structures. Objective 2. 2a) Improve Food Safety and Handling and Traceability of Grain and Oilseeds. (Participants IA, IL, IN, KS, MN, ND, NE, OK, and USDA-CGAHR.)1) Create and validate a survey instrument to measure quality climate (perceptions employees have about the relative importance of grain quality as compared with other business goals) within grain handling environments. Relate employee perceptions to their quality decision-making patterns in terms of food safety and security with bulk commodity crops. (Participants IA, IN). 2) Develop efficient handling methods for cereal grain products and their coproducts, including: simulation models to predict flowability of grains and coproducts; simulation models to optimize reduction, mixing, and other food and feed unit operations. (Participants KS, USDA-CGAHR, IN, NE.)3) Develop harvesting and storage methods suited for developing countries that reduce postharvest corn and soybean loss during on-farm and village-level storage. (Participants IL, IN).Objective 2. 2b) Identify, Measure, and Evaluate Aflatoxin, Insects, and Other Grain Contaminants. (Participants IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, ND, NE, OK, USDA-CGAHR, and WA.) 1) Investigate efficacy and economic viability of insect control technologies for food processing facilities that can be used as alternatives to current technologies such as methyl bromide fumigation and improve stored grain insect control with a 3D stored grain ecosystem and fumigant distribution model. (Participants KS, IN, MN, OK, USDA- CGAHR.) Objective 3. Fulfillment of this objective involves Multi-State Collaboration Efforts. 1) Purdue NC213 participates will collaborate with other NC213 participants in conducting outreach workshops and similar activities for training grain industry personnel on the proper management of stored grain and transferring results of research to the industry.2) Purdue personnel will collaborate with other NC-213 participants in the organization of the 2015/2016 International Grain Quality and Technology Conference to be held in Manhattan KS. KS and USDA-CGAHR station representatives will be the conference co-chairs. The conference will be a forum for exchange of technical and practical information, including challenges and economic opportunities involved in creating and capturing value in the grain-based food, feed, fiber and fuel supply chains. The last International Conference was held in 2008.3) Purdue personnel will collaborate with other NC-213 participants in the development of a grain production and handling food safety- quality management system (FSQMS) template built around ISO 9000 and 22000 certification, and will adapt the FSQMS to the eastern corn belt and provide support, training, and documentation to those utilizing the system. 4) Purdue personnel will collaborate with other NC-213 participants in the development of a national strategy for preserving the quality and safety of grain based food products and ensuring biosecurity within the market chain that begins with growers and ends with processed products. US grain production and market chain, with regionally or end use adapted methodologies.5) Purdue personnel will collaborate with other NC-213 participants in the training of FDA personnel and FDA-contract personnel in the conducting of food safety inspections of bulk grain and grain processing facilities under the authority of the Food Safety Modernization Act. They will also help to extend training to distance education based programs for industry professionals and assist firms with FSMA compliance in cost effective ways. 6) Purdue personnel will collaborate with other NC-213 participants in the development of the International Grain Operations and Processing Center into a major industry-funded organization for distributing grain operations training and for organizing applied problem solving in emerging issues. </P>

Stroshine, Richard
Purdue University
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