Pericarp fiber separation from corn flour using sieving and air classification

Radhakrishnan Srinivasan, Vijay Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the dry-grind process, starch in ground corn (flour) is converted to ethanol, and the remaining corn components (protein, fat, fiber, and ash) form a coproduct called distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). Fiber separation from corn flour would produce fiber as an additional coproduct that could be used as combustion fuel, cattle feed, and as feedstock for producing valuable products such as "cellulosic" ethanol, corn fiber gum, oligosaccharides, phytosterols, and polyols. Fiber is not fermented in the dry-grind corn process. Its separation before fermentation would increase ethanol productivity in the fermenter. Recently, we showed that the elusieve process, a combination of sieving and elutriation (air flow), was effective in fiber separation from DDGS. In this study, we evaluated the elusieve process for separating pericarp fiber from corn flour. Corn flour remaining after fiber separation was termed "enhanced corn flour". Of the total weight of corn flour, 3.8% was obtained as fiber and 96.2% was obtained as enhanced corn flour. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) of corn flour, fiber, and enhanced corn flour (dry basis) were 9.0, 61.5, and 5.7%, respectively. Starch content of corn flour, fiber, and enhanced corn flour (dry basis) were 68.8, 23.5, and 71.3%, respectively. Final ethanol concentration from enhanced corn flour (14.12% v/v) was marginally higher than corn flour (13.72% v/v). No difference in ethanol yields from corn flour and enhanced corn flour was observed. The combination of sieving and air classification can be used to separate pericarp fiber from corn flour. The economics of fiber separation from corn flour using the elusieve process would be governed by the production of valuable products from fiber and the revenues generated from the valuable products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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