DDGS and Poultry Diets
Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is a byproduct of the ethanol industry in which the starch component of cereal grains (corn, wheat, barley, rye, and sorghum) undergoes a fermentation process and is converted to ethanol and CO2.
By Mojtaba Yegani
Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is a byproduct of the ethanol industry in which the starch component of cereal grains (corn, wheat, barley, rye, and sorghum) undergoes a fermentation process and is converted to ethanol and CO2 .1
There has been a considerable growth in the biofuel industry in Europe and North America (including Canada) over the past few years. The government of Canada strongly supports the expansion of this industry and at the same time, it has been providing funding for research on the usage of DDGS in the animal industry. On the other hand, according to a survey conducted by Hormel Foods, six out of 10 Americans (61 per cent) said that corn-based ethanol is at least partly responsible for higher food prices. 2
DDGS can be used as a feed ingredient in poultry diets including broilers, laying hens, and turkeys (1) although the majority of these studies have been done on corn DDGS. Currently, there is an increasing tendency to work on wheat and other grains as source of DDGS in Canada. Dr. Eduardo Beltranena of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development and Dr. Doug Korver of University of Alberta have been conducting research projects investigating potential benefits of using DDGS (of different sources) in poultry diets.
Although DDGS is a good source of certain nutrients for poultry, the main concern is variation in nutrient composition (crude protein, amino acids such as lysine and methionine, fat, fibre, minerals) and also availability of these nutrients to the birds, which may limit use of DDGS in poultry diets. Grain composition and ethanol production procedures are two major contributing factors to this variability.
I hope that colleagues from the industry will share their experiences of how they deal with pros and cons of DDGS as an ingredient for diet formulation.
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