New year brings more DDGS research at University of Minnesota

By | January 01, 2004
Ethanol supporters and DDGS customers may be interested in the data Jerry Shurson and fellow researchers at the University of Minnesota are gathering. Currently, three projects are underway: 1) spray-dried DDGS ingredients as antiobiotic replacements in baby pig feeds, 2) DDGS with and without phytase to reduce swine manure phosphorus, and 3) comparing the nutritional value of United States corn DDGS with Canadian wheat DDGS sources and wheat and barley DDGS from Spain.
As for improving baby pig feed, Shurson told EPM that researchers have developed three new distillers coproducts, which are being evaluated to determine the effects on growth performance, intestinal heath and immune system in baby pigs.

"There is considerable interest in the commercial feed industry to find acceptable replacements for growth-promoting levels of antimicrobials and animal protein supplements," Shurson said.

DDGS is also being altered in order to reduce phosphorus in swine manure. Previous research results have shown that phosphorus availability in "new generation" DDGS and corn is much higher than previously reported. Shurson's group suspects the fermentation process in dry mill ethanol plants converts a high amount of phytic acid, an unavailable form of phosphorus in corn, to a form more easily digested and absorbed by the swine.

Since phosphorus is the third most expensive nutrient provided in swine diets, researchers could benefit pigs by formulating their diets on an available phosphorus basis. Removing a significant amount of dicalcium phosphate, an inorganic phosphorus supplement, could reduce diet cost while reducing phosphorus excretion in manure.

Shurson is also involved in a comparison of DDGS sources around the world, spurred by the question, "How does 'new generation' corn DDGS compare to the DDGS produced or available within a given country?"

To answer that question, researchers are in the process of collecting wheat and barley DDGS samples from ethanol plants in Canada and Spain. Those samples will be compared to the nutrient content of corn DDGS from dry-mill ethanol plants in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa.

The idea is to develop a database of nutrient profiles of DDGS from various sources around the world so that prospective importers of new generation DDGS can make more informed decisions when assessing the value and choosing the source they want to purchase from.
~Staff Report