Protease treatment to improve ethanol fermentation in modified dry grind corn processes

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To improve fractionation efficiency in modified dry grind corn processes, we evaluated the effectiveness of protease treatment in reducing residual starch in endosperm fiber. Three schemes of protease treatment were conducted in three processes: 1) enzymatic milling or E-Mill, 2) dry fractionation with raw starch fermentation or dry RS, and 3) dry fractionation with conventional fermentation or dry conv. Kinetics of free amino nitrogen production were similar in both dry and wet fractionation (E-Mill), indicating that proteolysis was effective in all three schemes. At the end of fermentation, endosperm fiber was recovered and its residual starch measured. Using protease treatment, residual starch in the endosperm fiber was reduced by 1.9% w/w (22% relative reduction) in dry conv and 1.7% w/w (8% relative reduction) in dry RS, while no reduction was observed in the E-Mill process. Protease treatment increased ethanol production rates early in fermentation (≤24 hr) but final ethanol concentrations were unaffected in both dry RS and E-Mill. In dry conv, the addition of protease resulted in a decline in final ethanol concentration by 0.3% v/v, as well as a higher variability in liquefaction product concentration (higher standard deviations in the glucose and maltose yields). Protease treatment can be used effectively to enhance modified dry grind processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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