Corn gluten meal 60%

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Corn gluten meal is a by-product of the manufacture of maize starch (and sometimes ethanol) by the wet-milling process . Corn gluten meal is a protein-rich feed, containing about 65% crude protein (DM), used as a source of protein, energy and pigments for livestock species including fish. It is also valued in pet food for its high protein digestibility. In the USA and Canada, corn gluten meal is also used as a fertilizer and pre-emergent weed killer.
The wet-milling process of maize is described in the figure above. The process yields 5 main products: maize starch, maize germ oil meal, corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed and maize steep liquor. After cleaning and removal of foreign material, the maize grain is usually steeped in water with sulfur dioxide (SO2) for 24-40 hours at a temperature of 48-52°C. The role of sulfur dioxide is to weaken the glutelin matrix by breaking inter- and intramolecular disulfide bonds. Steeping at 45-55° C favours the development of lactic acid bacteria that produce lactic acid, lowering the pH of the medium and thereby restricting growth of most other organisms. At the end of the steeping phase, the maize kernels contain about 45% water, having released about 6.0-6.5% of their dry matter as solubles into the steepwater, and have become sufficiently soft to be pulled apart easily with the fingers. After steeping, the maize kernels are coarsely ground so that the germs are separated from the endosperm and used for oil extraction that bonds between molecules, and bonds within the molecule (between atoms) yields maize germ oil meal. The remaining steeping water is condensed into a steep liquor. The endosperm undergoes further screenings that separate the fibre from gluten (protein fraction) and starch slurry. Fibre (bran) is mixed with steep liquor and maize germ oil meal to create corn gluten feed . The fibre-free endosperm is centrifugated in order to separate the starch fraction and the gluten, which have different densities, resulting in almost pure starch (99% starch), and corn gluten meal.
Note: it is important to note that corn gluten meal should not be mistaken for corn gluten feed, which contains about 22% crude protein rather than 65% and is nutritionally completely different. The name similarity of these products is an occasional source of confusion, particularly in papers written by non-native English speakers.

Main analysis Unit Avg Min Max
Dry matter % as fed 90.0 87.3 96.2
Crude protein % DM 67.2 65.0 76.2
Crude fibre % DM 1.2 0.4 2.7
Moisture % DM 8.4 5.5 10.0
Crude fat % DM 3.0 2.5 4.5
NDF % DM 4.1 1.1 8.6
ADF % DM 1.6 0.3 3.7
Lignin % DM 0.3 0.2 0.6
Ether extract % DM 2.9 1.0 6.5
Ash % DM 2.1 1.1 4.6
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 17.6 9.1 26.0
Total sugars % DM 0.5 0.2 1.2
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 23.1 21.2 24.1

Corn gluten meal is a protein-rich feed containing from 60 to 75% crude protein (DM) (though lower values have been reported). It contains about 15-20% of residual starch in the DM and limited amounts of fibre (crude fibre 1% DM), fat (3% DM) and minerals (2%). Due to its high protein content, corn gluten meal is mostly used as a potential alternative to other plant or animal-based proteins . However, like maize grain, its amino acid profile is low in lysine (1.7% of the protein vs. 6.3% for soybean meal and 7.5% for fish meal) and tryptophan (0.5% vs. 1.4% for soybean meal and 1.1% for fish meal). It also contains more methionine (2.4%) than lysine, resulting in an unbalanced profile for many livestock species, though the relatively good methionine content is valuable for laying hens. Corn gluten meal is also a source of energy, due to its high gross energy content (23.1 MJ/kg DM) and energy digestibility (more than 90% in ruminants and pigs). A constraint is its moderate palatability in land-based livestock  Corn gluten meal is particularly rich in yellow xanthophylls (between 200 and 500 mg/kg DM) that are useful for pigmentation in poultry where high-colour chickens and eggs are prized by consumers.

Dairy cattle

Corn gluten meal has been extensively studied in dairy cows. In most trials, corn gluten feed alone or in combination with other protein sources gave similar or better results than the control diets. Combinations of extruded soybeans and corn gluten meal, as the protein supplement, gave results similar to those obtained with soybean meal alone for lactating cows  A mixture of corn gluten meal and blood meal produced a lactation response similar to that obtained with soybean meal in mid-lactation Holstein cows. In high-yielding Holstein cows, corn gluten meal supplementation used to raise crude protein by 1.1 to 1.5 percentage point in the diets had a slightly negative effect in early lactation and a generally positive one in late lactation, which suggests that lysine may have been a limiting factor in early lactation . In Brazil, in cows with restricted grazing on Italian ryegrass, supplementation with a 60:40 blend (22% crude protein) of ground maize and corn gluten meal significantly increased milk production . In Iran, cows receiving a supplement of corn gluten meal, thereby increasing their by-pass protein intake, increased their DM intake, milk yield, milk protein content and body condition score, while reducing body weight losses . However, feeding a combination of distillers dried grains and corn gluten meal depressed milk protein production when compared with a soybean-based control diet, probably due to the lower lysine content of the maize-based products compared to soybean.

Growing cattle

In Brazil, corn gluten meal and cassava peels partly replaced energy concentrates, with no influence on DM intake, digestibility, microbial efficiency and nitrogen retention in heifers.


In sheep fed according a programme of protein supplementation on alternate days, corn gluten meal was an effective substitute for soybean meal . The replacement of a blend of soybean meal and wheat bran with a blend of corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed had no negative effect on apparent digestibility of nutrients, or on N and energy balance in sheep.


Two trials with dairy goats have resulted in contradictory results. In Brazil, the replacement of up to 50% of soybean meal protein with corn gluten protein linearly decreased milk fat production and slightly depressed milk yield in dairy goats . In Italy, a trial compared a highly degradable protein diet based on pelleted total mixed rations containing soybean meal, sunflower meal and urea, with a low-degradable protein diet including corn gluten meal in the pellets. The dairy goats fed the corn gluten meal diet had the highest milk fat, protein and casein concentrations, with no significant effects on other milk components and renneting properties. It was concluded that a decrease of rumen degradable protein did not negatively influence nutrient utilization, and milk production and composition in dairy goats.


Corn gluten meal is a valuable feed for pigs due to its high protein and energy content coupled with a low concentration of dietary fibre. The net energy content of corn gluten meal is slightly lower than that of maize grain but much higher (+ 40%) than that of soybean meal. In China, the metabolisable energy content of corn gluten meal was found to vary according to the origin of the product, but not significantly . The major drawback of corn gluten meal for pig feeding is its deficiency in lysine and tryptophan, though this is partly compensated by standardized ileal amino acid digestibilities that are higher for corn gluten meal than for maize and soybean meal . It was possible to include up to 20 or 30% corn gluten meal in growing-finishing pig diets without adverse effects on growth performance, provided that diets were supplemented with synthetic amino acids . Corn gluten meal could be included in weanling pigs diets at up to 13 to 15% without hindering performance . Because phosphorus absorption from corn gluten meal is low, phytase addition is recommended in pig diets based on it.


Corn gluten meal can be a valuable feed for poultry due to its high protein content, its high pigment (xanthophyll) content and its high ME content (typically more than 16 MJ/kg DM). However, its amino acid profile is deficient in lysine, which makes it unsuitable for meat-producing poultry . It is also fairly unpalatable to poultry . However, the methionine content is relatively high, much higher than that of soybean meal and relatively close to that of fish meal, which is a desirable trait for layers diets . The high xanthophyll concentration of corn gluten meal is valuable in markets where a bright yellow colour in egg yolks, skin, and fatty tissues is associated with good health and premium quality by the consumer, but less so in markets that prefer white chicken skins and light-coloured yolks. The inclusion rate of corn gluten meal in poultry diets is, therefore, driven in part by market demand in terms of colouring.

In intensive poultry diets, inclusion rates for corn gluten meal are generally no higher than 5-8% . Higher rates have been tested successfully in non-industrial production systems. In Bangladesh, corn gluten meal included at 10% in pullet diets gave the desired intense egg coloration . In Brazil, it was shown that in free-range chickens (slow-growing type) the optimal inclusion rate for corn gluten meal was 10%, starting in the growth phase (32-84 days) . In India, including 9% corn gluten meal in broiler diets resulted in satisfactory results and was considered economic  However, in Egypt, attempts to feed higher levels (20%) of corn gluten meal resulted in a lower feed intake and body weight gain in growing broilers. Only finishing broilers could be fed 20% corn gluten meal without deleterious effects


Corn gluten meal was safely used in growing rabbits up to 10-12% in a balanced diet . However, the use of corn gluten meal in rabbit feeding is severely limited, due both to its deficiency in lysine (which covers only one third of the lysine requirements) and to the quasi-absence of fibre. For these reasons, in Europe corn gluten meal is rarely used in commercial rabbit production, although other by-products of maize processing, such as corn gluten feed or distillers grains are used . The presence of mycotoxins in corn gluten meal is particularly problematic in rabbit production, as the reported levels of fumonisin and zearalenone are deleterious for rabbit reproduction


Corn gluten feed is considered as a good and palatable source of protein for fish and has been used in fish feeding in the USA since the 1970s . Because it is low in lysine, it is recommended to supplement diets rich in corn gluten meal with L-lysine or soybean meal.

Corn gluten meal is a common component of FISH diets. It has been used as a cheaper substitute for fish meal since the 1990s, when it was demonstrated that mixtures of plant proteins containing corn gluten meal could replace up to 66% of fish meal without compromising performance.

– Soft polypropylene containers (big bags) net weight of up to 1,000 kg or as agreed with the customer


Packaging has the manufacturer’s logo and a label inserted into the seam with standard consumer information.

Shelf life: 12 months as of the manufacturing date.

Storage: in a ventilated room in the original packing at a temperature below 25°С and relative air humidity below 75%.