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Properties of Corn Masa Processing Byproducts

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  036173,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13920) @2003
Authors:   Kurt A. Rosentrater
Keywords:   Byproduct Development, Characterization, Chemical Properties, Evaluation, Food Processing, Physical Properties, Waste Utilization

The production of corn masa-based products in the U.S. has been increasing over the last several years, and as a result, so has the quantity of waste materials generated from this industry. These byproduct materials may have potential for value-added processing and utilization, which are options that hold the promise of economic benefits for masa processors and decreased potential pollution for the environment. Fundamental to any byproduct development, however, is a full characterization of the processing residue, because physical and nutritional properties are necessary for the proper design of processing operations and applications. Vital physical properties include moisture content, water activity, density, yield stress, viscosity, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, heat capacity, pH, color, and drying behavior. Requisite nutritional properties include protein, carbohydrate, fat, ash, fiber, vitamin, and mineral contents. Because information concerning masa byproduct materials currently is not readily available, the objective of this study was to fully investigate the existing physical and nutritional properties knowledge base. Through this investigation it was found that masa byproducts appear very suitable for use as livestock feed additives, and because they are high in fiber, they could be well suited for ruminant diets. Additionally, due to substantial calcium content (because of residual lime from the nixtamalization process), there may be potential for use as a calcium source in livestock rations. Before masa residues can be effectively and economically utilized, however, they must be dehydrated, in order to reduce transportation costs, to decrease microbial activity, and to increase shelf life, because under current processing practices, they are very high in moisture.

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