Corn wet-milling is a process of refining corns to manufacture end products used by millions of people worldwide. The shelled corns are processed by two types dry mills or wet mills. Under corn wet-milling process corns are separated into four components namely starch, fiber, germ, and gluten. The production process of corn wet-milling includes cleaning, steeping, milling & germ separation, fine grinding & screening and separating starch & gluten. The further process includes conversion of starch to syrup and fermentation by dextrose which added value to products such as ethanol, amino acids and polylactic acid used in biodegradable products. Under milling process corns are indelicately milled to separate germs from other components which contain around 85% of corn’s oil.
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According to U.S. Census Bureau, wet corn gluten feed production has increased over the last few years while other byproducts have declined. During 2007 to 2009, the average production of gluten meal in 165 Mn pounds per month. Corn refiners produce various feed products which include corn gluten meal, corn germ meal, and wet corn gluten feed. Primary products of corn wet-milling process are corn starch and edible oil.
Rising in the demand for multi-functionality of corn, consumption of dent corn for high fructose corn syrup used in foods & beverages, consumption of gluten meal based on animal feed in meal industry, are the factors expected to drive the growth of global corn wet-milling market. Moreover, increasing demand for corn ethanol products, wet milling products are rich in digestible fiber, amino acids and contain high level of energy, protein, cysteine & methionine are some other factors expected to fuel the growth of global corn wet-milling market. However, stringent government regulatory controls over health & safety and increasing quality standards are the factors that may hamper the growth of corn wet-milling market.
Based on corn types, dent account for largest share in the corn wet-milling market over the forecast period owing to high usage of dent for the production of corn syrup, animal feed, starch and ethanol. Based on end products segment, corn gluten feed is a cost effective product which is an alternative to traditional feed and helps in reducing sub-acute acidosis and improve feed efficiency. Moreover, sweeteners are the more significant refined corn product account for around 55% to the US nutrient sweetener market followed by ethanol which is increasing as a burning preference for motor fuels. According to US Census Bureau, between 2007 and 2009, wet milling systems in the US is grew by 1.2 Mn bushels per month.
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Depending on geographic region, corn wet-milling market is segmented into seven key regions: North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific dominates the corn wet-milling market followed by Europe, Japan and North America owing to expansion of corn wet milling industries and high consumption of corn wet-milling products by many industries such as textiles, food, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, personal care and others in these regions. Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa hold huge potential and shows substantial growth rising demand for processed food, increasing customer base, high production and consumption of corn related products.