Grains Council research proves value of carotenoid pigments

U.S. Grains Council (USGC) research shows many consumers prefer yolks with darker-yellow color and yellow-skinned chickens, both of which are produced by adding a naturally occurring pigment called carotenoid pigments including corn distiller’s oil (CDO).

The research, which was conducted with the help of North Carolina State University, was a 56-day feeding trial on broiler chickens with the goal of determining if carotenoids in CDO could be transferred to them. The researchers determined the CDO added an additional value of $0.05 of value per kilogram of CDO. This could translate into $500,000 in annual revenue for a 100 million gallon ethanol plant. The USGC plans to conduct similar research in Mexico.

“The conclusions from this study are particularly important in some of the export markets where we work, like Mexico, and could bring additional value to our ethanol members who can sell CDO for both energy value and its carotenoid value,” Kurt Shultz, USGC's senior director of global strategies, said. “What makes this study unique is that most ethanol plants sell corn distiller’s oil on an energy value basis. However, if they are able to find customers who value the carotenoids, there are new opportunities to create additional value.”

The results of the study will be presented by Peter Ferket of North Carolina State University at the Atlanta International Poultry Expo at the end of the month.

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North Carolina State University U.S. Grains Council

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