Keep an eye on fat concentrations in DDGS

By Dr. Hans H. Stein

March 2010

Many companies that are producing DDGS have started to centrifuge or skim off the fat from the DDGS. These companies then sell the fat for biodiesel production at a price that is much greater than what they can usually obtain for DDGS. The consequence of this practice is that the concentration of fat in DDGS is reduced from 10 to 11% in conventional DDGS to between 6 and 8 % in the centrifuged low-fat DDGS. This DDGS has a reduced concentration of energy and has, therefore, also a reduced value when fed to livestock. Conventional DDGS with 10 to 11% fat has a concentration of digestible energy that is similar to that in corn. However, if the concentration of fat in DDGS is reduced by 3 to 5% then the energy value of that product is reduced considerably.

Unfortunately, most companies that reduce the concentration of fat in DDGS have chosen not to tell their customers that they sell a low-fat DDGS instead of a conventional DDGS with a normal concentration of fat. Many producers are, therefore, buying DDGS that they assume contains 10 to 11% fat, but in reality, the product they receive contains only 6 to 8% DDGS, and therefore, also contains less energy than conventional DDGS. To make up for the lost energy in the low-fat DDGS, these producers need to buy additional fat and add that to their diets, which will increase the costs of the diets. The only way to offset these costs is to pay less for the low-fat DDGS. As a rule of thumb, the low fat DDGS has a value that is 10 to 15% less than that of normal DDGS.

Recommendation: Producers who are buying DDGS should demand guarantees from their suppliers of DDGS that the product they receive contains a minimum of 10% fat. If such guarantees cannot be obtained, then they should pay no more than 85 to 90% of the price of conventional DDGS.

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