When we think about bioethanol, perhaps we refer to fuel issues, changes in the oil prices and reduction of air pollution. But biofuel production has other aspects, including proteins for poultry nutrition.

Last week, at the European Poultry Nutrition Symposium (ESPN) in Gdansk, Poland, speakers addressed the protein shortage the European poultry industry is facing. In addition to soybeans and canola, distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) were discussed as a source of protein for poultry.

Emily Burton, Nottingham Trent University, mentioned that the concept of the 4 F’s (food, fuel, fiber and feed), is a factor in biofuels demand. There, we have feeds!

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Margins of ethanol have narrowed, so production plants look for technologies to improve them. I must say that the production of co-products (which are not byproducts), such as DDGS, thus acquire relevance. In addition, countries such as the United Kingdom, China and Mexico are driving demand for E10 fuel (90% gasoline, 10% ethanol).

Corn is the raw material that is mostly used to produce ethanol. Burton said the DDGS from this grain are a good source of protein, and they have a high yeast content (>3.9%), which is very good for intestinal health (although difficult to use because ethanol toughens the cell walls) in poultry feeds.

As for negative points, they are high in soluble fiber, they can be low in essential amino acids, and there is product variability and problems with flowability. However, producers are increasingly focusing on improving the quality of the product.

Availability? Each year, 60 billion liters of ethanol are produced, yielding 3 million tons of raw materials for animal feed, and it will continue to increase. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on the strong exports of U.S. corn DDGS in April, with Mexico the largest importer (in volume), with 182,229 metric tons.

So, we have biofuels, protein for poultry and a plus – sustainability. What do you think?