The process of separating the starch from corn is one which involves several steps and procedures. The corn starch thus obtained is from the endosperm of the kernel and is used in the production of several foods and other items. The main aim of the corn starch production process is to release the starch from the cell structure and that too by ensuring that the germ is not damaged. When the process is over, 4 main derivatives are obtained and they are starch, fiber, germ and gluten. The following is a brief of the corn starch production process:
- Corn cleaning and steeping
This is the first stage of the process and is done to free the corn of all kinds of impurities. After cleaning, the corn is soaked in water so that it doubles in size. Now the gluten bond weakens and the starch is thus released.
- Milling, germ separation and drying
The second stage of the corn starch production process is one in which corn is coarsely milled so that the germ is separated from the fiber, gluten, and starch. This process takes place in two main steps and for this, two discs as well as 2 germ separations hydro cyclones are employed. The corn germ which is thus obtained has corn oil and is made to remove from the slurry, washed and then removed from the water.
- Grit milling and fiber washing
Fine milling process takes place by a special kind of a mill that grinds the harder parts of the corn. The starch is thus removed completely and fiber is kept coarse. Now the grit milk which has fine as well as the coarse fiber is pumped and is made to go through starch extraction and counter fiber washing processes. Now, what happens is that the washed fiber leaves the system and is removed from the water and dried.
- Starch and gluten separation, starch washing
The 4th step of the corn starch production process is starch and gluten separation from the starch milk which is obtained from the previous step. In this process, the starch left leaves the separator as the underflow whereas, on the other hand, the gluten leaves the separator as overflow.
- Gluten dewatering and drying
Now the next step is the concentration of gluten in the disc nozzle separator as heavy phase, followed by leaving of gluten through the nozzles. After this, the resultant concentrated gluten is made to go through a centrifugal decanter before drying process.
- Starch dewatering and drying
The starch slurry obtained is now dewatered through rotary drum filters or peeler centrifuge. Now the dewatered starch cake is made to go through drying equipment and dried.
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