FEATURE Trucks transport huge quantities of corn from the local area to supply Cargill’s Blair production plant to produce a revolutionary highprotein Empyreal protein.
Empyreal 75 in its raw state on the production line. Jered Anderson, the project and optimisation manager at the plant shows the production process.
parts. In its simplistic format, corn is steeped, ground, separated and washed. It takes 25 incoming trucks to fill one of the ‘tanks’ used in production and to which water and SO2 are added to break down the corn kernels in the initial step. Mr Anderson explained, “Historically, this type of corn wet milling process would extract and separate the corn starch and merchandise the rest.” However, the core business for the value added feed ingredients is within the valuable protein and fibre fractions of corn and these are primarily used for the Empyreal® and Sweet Bran® products that constitute the company’s animal feed division within
Starches & Sweeteners North America. Mr Anderson expanded, “The starch and protein are found in the inner portion of the corn kernel and have a distinctive yellowish coloring. The outside is the bran portion and then there is the germ, which is found in the tip or cap of the corn. This gives a lot of starch and very little of the protein and germ in comparison, but the germ and protein are the most highly valued fractions on a per unit basis.” In brief, the grain is steeped and then moved to the grinding section where the germ, fibre, starch and protein are all separated in various ways which includes the use of centrifuges.
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