Next-Level Grain Grading for Ethanol’s Next Stage

Eurofins Grain Inspection is supporting the industry with third-party inspection services. The company can help ethanol producers cross-check their in-house damage grading according to mutually agreed on, industry-best standard operating procedures.
By Tom Bryan | September 21, 2021

While Eurofins is a global company with a network of 900 labs across 50 countries, the focus of its specialized Midwest grain segment—ready and waiting to help ethanol plants grade corn to more rigorous specifications—is the branch U.S. ethanol producers might soon rely on. 

Eurofins Grain Inspection, which offers robust inbound grain grading services for numerous large-scale processors including ethanol plants, can facilitate rail car inspection as well as submitted sample analysis—testing corn for moisture, foreign material, mycotoxins and more. While ethanol plants can and do grade corn effectively in house, an increasing number of them are working with third-party inspectors to enhance their grain inspection programs. 

“The need for submitted sample analysis is growing in the ethanol industry,” says Ben Heinzman, business unit manager for Eurofins Grain Inspection. “As more facilities switch to high-protein feed production, the quality of their inbound grain is becoming increasingly important—specifically as it relates to damage.”

Producers working with Eurofins Grain Inspection will typically send the company corn samples that have already been graded for damage in house. “We can provide a cross-check—a verification of that initial grade,” Heinzman says. “With a scorecard system in place, the client will be able to see if they’re grading within spec, according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) we’ve set up together. If our grades don’t match up, we’ll work with them to figure out what’s going on, figure out what needs to be changed, and get things back in spec.”       

For many ethanol producers, adhering to rigorous grain inspection can be a major drain on personnel. “That’s especially true in this tight labor market, with hiring being difficult,” Heinzman says. “But when a plant works with us, our qualified grain inspectors go to work for them.”