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From ethanol to aquafeeds

Construction of a new mill capable of producing protein from ethanol for the aquaculture feed industry is nearing completion in Nebraska.

The Flint Hills Resources Fairmont ethanol plant uses an innovative technology called maximized stillage co-products (MSC), which produces a high protein animal and fish feed ingredient from a portion of the distillers grains produced during the ethanol making process.

A crane lifts the top ring of one of the protein dryers being built at the Flint Hills Resources Fairmont ethanol plant. The plant is installing the Maximized Stillage Co-Products™ or MSC technology which converts a portion of the distillers grains produced at the site into a high protein animal and fish feed ingredient
A crane lifts the top ring of one of the protein dryers being built at the Flint Hills Resources Fairmont ethanol plant. The plant is installing the Maximized Stillage Co-Products™ or MSC technology which converts a portion of the distillers grains produced at the site into a high protein animal and fish feed ingredient

Flint Hills is branding the new product, the first batches of which should be available by the end of the summer, as NexPro. In addition to its high protein content, NexPro has about 3.5 percent crude fibre, 4.5 percent fat and 1.1 percent phosphorus. Over 15 NexPro feed studies have been conducted with well-respected university researchers to demonstrate value in tilapia, trout, shrimp, dairy, pet food, swine and poultry. The results of these studies have shown NexPro to be an excellent source of nutrients in the diets of these animals.

Emy Marroquin, health and safety manager at the Flint Hills Resources Fairmont ethanol plant, stands beside the top ring of the protein dryer before it is installed
Emy Marroquin, health and safety manager at the Flint Hills Resources Fairmont ethanol plant, stands beside the top ring of the protein dryer before it is installed

“Demand for protein in the world is growing,” said Mark Murphy, general manager of ingredients marketing at Flint Hills Resources. “NexPro is a combination of corn protein and spent yeast. The combination contains about 50 percent protein and contains elevated levels of amino acids such as lysine, which is essential for growth animals. With its excellent protein content and improved amino acid profile, NexPro is a great alternative to traditional feed ingredients like soybean meal and corn gluten meal.”

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The cost to produce NexPro at the Fairmont plant will be lower than the cost to produce similar feed ingredients. NexPro will have a comparable shelf life to corn gluten meal and soybean meal and can be stored in silos or distributed through various transportation modes including bulk packaging and containers for export.

Rob Fletcher

Rob Fletcher

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