On January 2016, according to a research conducted by the US Grains Council (USGC) in conjunction with North Carolina State University, stated that including corn distiller’s oil in poultry rations helps deliver carotenoid pigments to the birds giving them additional nutrition value.
Carotenoid belongs to a class of natural fat soluble pigments accountable for the red, orange and yellow as well as for the color of crustacean shells, feathers, fish skin and flesh, etc. This is vital as many consumers of poultry globally prefer a yellow-skinned chicken and a dark yellow egg yolk.
A trial of 56 day feeding was performed in broilers to determine the effects of carotenoids in corn distillers oil also known as CDO. Researchers at the end found that carotenoids add an additional nutrition value of USD 0.05 per kilogram of corn distillers’ oil. Annually, this new use can increase an additional value of USD 500,000 for a 100 million gallon ethanol plant.
This study is important in some of the export markets such as Mexico and where the conclusions from the study can add an additional value to the ethanol members who can sell CDO for its energy as well as carotenoid value. In 2014, the U.S. ethanol industry produced 2.5 billion pounds of corn distillers’ oil according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
The results of the study will be presented by Dr Peter Ferket from the university at Atlanta International Poultry Expo at the end of January. At the meantime the council is planning to make trail on the Mexican poultry market to outreach domestically to confirm the US ethanol industry is aware of the market opportunity.
Carotenoids are more than just a pretty color and it is also used to improve animal performance. It is an essential nutrient for all farmed stock. As it is only found in plants and cannot be synthesized by livestock, animals’ requirement of this nutrient is fulfilled by their diet. Most ethanol plants sell corn distillers oil on an energy value basis but with the uniqueness of this study they would be able to reach customers who also value carotenoids and will explore new opportunities to create additional value.