The corn wet-milling market is expected to grow globally at a considerable CAGR over the forecast period. Key drivers for this market are the burgeoning demand for High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in processed beverages and food, MEAI – based animal feed products, prolific use of corn starch in sundry applications, and corn ethanol in biofuel. On the other hand, high energy consumption and the large capital investment needed are restraining market growth. Hazardous emissions which are a by-product of the process pose to be a challenge for the market. The market ecosystem is comprised of corn product manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and the end-user industries. This is a horizontal market with different industry verticals including food & beverages, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, textiles, and personal care.
The corn wet milling process involves the production of corn oil, corn starch, fiber, and protein from corn. The chronological steps in the corn wet milling process are cleaning, steeping, germ recovery, fiber recovery, Gluten recovery, starch processing, and co-product manufacture. Thus, four main components – starch, fiber, germ, and gluten (protein) are separated. The protein-rich extract produced from steeping is used in animal feed and probiotic products. Oil is recovered from the germ and used in corn margarine, and the residual germ feed is a good source of amino acids used in animal feed for adding nutrients. Fiber recovered is known as Gluten feed which is used as edible corn fiber and in animal feed. Millstarch obtained during gluten recovery is used in zein products. Co-product is manufactured by mixing fiber, concentrated steep water, and germ meal, and is termed as corn gluten feed. The ongoing research for improving the corn wet milling process includes adding protease enzymes and phytic acid degrading enzymes during the steeping process to reduce steeping time and has presented a two-stage procedure.
The corn wet milling market is segmented on the basis of application, source, end product, equipment, and geographical region. The segments based on application are feed, food, and industrial. The segments based on the source are waxy corn and dent corn. End products are starches, ethanol, sweeteners, gluten meal, gluten feed, step liquor, corn oil, and corn germ meal. Equipment-based segments include milling equipment, washing and filtration systems, steeping equipment, centrifuge systems, and other equipment.
Amongst the application-based segments, feed application leads the current market. This can be attributed to the growing demand for feed containing animal proteins in the meat industry, and gluten meal have abundant proteins. Dent corn is widely used for producing corn syrup and ethanol. Centrifuge systems used for starch recovery have so far dominated the market. Sweeteners hold the largest market share and will continue to ace the market in the forecast period. The application of corn sweeteners in the food industry is driving the market growth. North America currently leads the corn wet milling market due to the presence of various end-user industries. The Asia Pacific is expected to have a linear growth over the forecast period. China and Brazil are considered to be lucrative markets in the forecast period.
Key players in the corn wet milling industry are Ingredion Inc, Global Bio-chem Group of Companies Ltd, Cargill, Agrana, Tate & Lyle, Bunge, Roquette Freres, China Agri Industries Holdings Ltd, Grain Processing Corporation, and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Amongst the latest M&A activity, Archer Daniels Midland Company acquired Eaststarch CV in April 2015 and Tate & Lyle PLC in February 2016. Roquette Freres acquired Riddhi Siddhi Gluco Biols Ltd in 2012, Jungbunzlauer Swiss AG acquired Ingerdion’s corn wet milling facility in Canada in December 2015, Agrana acquired SCAGFD Tandarei SRL in 2002.
Research Support Specialist, USA
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