Bioprocessing Wheat Midds and Screenings to Improve Protein

Period of Performance: 01/01/1998 - 12/31/1998


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Harvest Fuel, Inc.
207 14th Street
Walhalla, ND 58282
Principal Investigator


A low value by-product of flour milling--midds--shows great potential as a bioprocessing feedstock to produce high protein feed. Phase I research demonstrated ability to upgrade 18% protein midds to 47% protein concentrate, in part, by hydrolyzing hemicellulose to pentose for high protein yeast propagation, instead of leaving it as an inexpensive source of fiber. In the U.S. 224 flour mills produce 5.13 million tons of midds annually, which, if processed, represent $1.1 billion in sales and $190 million net income potential. The price of midds would rise. A $20/ton increase translates to $.10/bushel, or nearly $235 million more value for American wheat. Equally important are prospects that such processing could be a pretreatment ?bridge' to more economical cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol processing. Recovering a significant co-product feed credit greatly improves biomass potential. Wheat screenings could also be processed, helping improve wheat quality and value. Research in Phase II focuses on a prototype plant large enough to provide product samples for feed trials necessary to support commercial expansion of the bioprocess. The prototype plant will also establish operational costs for determining profit potential in commercial plants.