Project Summary

Distiller's Grains and Foodborne Pathogens in Cattle: Interaction and Intervention

Principle Investigator(s):
T. G. Nagaraja, Jim Drouillard, David Renter, and Sanjeev Narayanan
Kansas State University
Completion Date:
May 2008



The use of grains for ethanol production results in a co-product called distiller’s grains (DG), which are used as livestock feed. The process of conversion of cereal grain starch into ethanol by yeast fermentation, called “dry milling,” results in a “spent” fraction after distillation to remove ethanol and centrifugation to remove liquid fraction. The spent fraction, called wet distiller’s grains (WDG; approx. 30% dry matter {DM}) can be dehydrated to produce dried distiller’s grains (DDG; approx. 90% DM), which are both used as livestock feed. The liquid (“stillage”) may be concentrated by evaporation to produce “condensed distiller’s solubles” (CDS), which is also used as livestock feed supplement. The CDS usually is blended with WDG or DDG to produce co-products with solubles (WDGS or DDGS). These co-products are good sources of digestible fiber, available protein, and lipid, and therefore, are excellent dietary supplements for both dairy and beef cattle (Ham et al., 1994; Spiehs et al., 2002). Because use of distiller’s grains (DG) will continue to increase in cattle production, it is important to understand the role these feed ingredients play in the fecal shedding of E. coli O157 and other food-borne pathogens. 

The stated objectives for this work were to determine the effects of supplementing dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS) on fecal shedding of E. coli O157 and Salmonella in cattle fed steam-flaked corn (SFC) grain diets. Also, we included supplementation of dry-rolled corn (DRC) to determine whether corn grain, processed to increase availability of starch in the hindgut, has any effects on fecal shedding of E. coli O157 and Salmonella in relation to DDGS supplementation.

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