What are corn condensed distillers solubles?

Corn condensed distillers solubles are a by-product of the ethanol production process. It is also known in the industry as “corn syrup.” It is a liquid by-product that contains fermentation by-products, spent yeast cells, and other nutrients which remain after corn grain has been fermented to produce ethanol. Generally, corn condensed distillers solubles are added back to the coarse grains during the process to produce wet or dry distillers grains with solubles. However, in some cases, corn condensed distillers solubles are sold as a separate by-product.

The nutrient content of corn condensed distillers solubles varies considerably from plant to plant and from day to day within a plant. Typical moisture content ranges from 55 to 80%. Levels of other nutrients also vary considerably. On a dry basis, CP ranges from 20 to 30%. Levels of phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur are also variable. Sulfur level is of particular concern since high sulfur levels have been implicated in increased incidence of polioencephalomalacia in cattle. Corn condensed distillers solubles contain moderate levels of fat, which gives the product energy values greater than corn on a dry basis.

Liquid handling equipment (tanks, pumps, hoses) are needed in order to handle this by-product. Because the product is high in moisture, it will freeze. Placing tanks and pumping equipment in a heated shop or shed or burying the tanks underground can alleviate this problem.

The nutrient profile of corn condensed distillers solubles makes it a useful supplement for beef cattle fed low-quality forage diets. Best results are obtained when the product is blended with chopped forage in a mixed ration, but the product can be fed separately as well. The amount needed as a supplement will vary but is typically less than 15% of the diet on a DM basis.