Corn gluten or corn gluten feed is a by-product that comes from the wet milling industry or from manufacturers of starch, syrups, oils and sweeteners which make use of corn starch production process. Corn gluten feed is readily available in the USA and is also produced in bulk quantities in India. Indian origin corn gluten is known for its high quality and the many uses it serves. One of the main uses of corn gluten is as a livestock feed. It is a good feed for beef cattle but there is a certain way in which it should be utilized to get its maximum advantage and benefits. The following are some of the ways to utilize corn gluten as a livestock feed.
• Corn gluten feed is mainly made of steep liquor and corn bran. The steep liquor inclusion affects the final colour and the nutritive quality. This feed is available in two different forms-wet and dry form.
• It can be purchased in two forms, depending upon the exact use-in the form of a meal or in the form of pellets. Since the process of wet milling removes the starch as well as the oil, the resultant corn gluten has high amounts of crude protein. The protein quantity averages 23.5% but in some cases, it can also be in between 16 to 30%.
• The energy valve of corn gluten feed is similar to that of corn but the difference is that the energy in corn comes from starch whereas, in case of gluten, it comes from the dietary fiber content. It also consists of some amount of fat which tends to raise the energy density of the diet.
• It is important to remember that since corn gluten offers both protein and energy, the relative economic value of the feed greatly depends on upon the relative price of corn as well as a protein supplement like soybean meal.
• The totally digestible nutrients or TDN value of CGF or corn gluten feed is about 75 to 83% and this in comparison to that of whole grain which has TDN of 88% is slightly less.
• There are some cautions that must be observed when using corn gluten feed as a livestock feed. The sulphur concentration of CGF is a little high in comparison to the requirement of animals. What happens is that sulphur dioxide is added during the process of wet milling so as to help with the process of extraction of starch. Feeding huge amounts of CGF with high sulphur concentration can result in toxicity and even death of the animal. Therefore one must take caution and always choose a manufacturer that doesn’t include high S concentration.
• Another caution in using corn gluten as livestock feed is high phosphorus concentration. High concentration of phosphorus in this feed can cause urinary calculi in cattle and hence one must remain careful about this as well.