Corn gluten feed is a co-product of the wet-milling process for the production of corn starch and ethanol. It is also produced during the dry milling of corn for the production of fuel-grade ethanol. Wet-milling processes separate corn into its four basic components: starch, germ, fiber, and protein. The protein portion can be further processed into various protein products such as corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, or corn distillers grains with solubles. Corn gluten feed is the second-largest co-product of wet-milling after corn gluten meal (CGM).
Corn Gluten Feed Nutrient Composition
The crude protein content of Corn Gluten Feed is quite variable, ranging from 16% to 30%. The variation in protein content is due to the different growing conditions that corn plants are exposed to during the growing season. Usually, Corn Gluten Feed with a higher protein content will also have a higher fiber content. Corn gluten feed can be used as a replacement for soybean meal in diets for piglets.
Corn gluten feed is a low-cost source of protein and energy supplement for beef cattle. The main uses of CGF are crept, backgrounding, and finishing diets. Corn gluten feed can be fed as the sole protein source, or blended with other protein supplements such as soybean meal. Research has shown that corn gluten feed can replace up to 50% of soybean meal when used in combinations with other protein sources such as cottonseed hulls and distillers grains (DG).
Corn gluten feed is a highly digestible source of protein that contains the entire complement of amino acids required by swine and poultry. The amino acid profile is similar to that of soybean meal. The digestibility of energy varies with the processing method and physical characteristics of the product.