Adding value to bioethanol production: Quantification and recovery of lutein and zeaxanthin from DDGS

Jinsha Li, Purdue University


Lutein and zeaxanthin are plant compounds in the carotenoid family. They are essential for development and maintenance of the retinal macula, and act as antioxidants in the prevention of cancer. Currently, the major source for harvesting lutein and zeaxanthin is from marigold flowers, which is a labor-intensive process. The US corn industry produced 42.66 million short tons of DDGS in 2011, which provides a large untapped source to recover lutein and zeaxanthin. This research investigated the recovery and purification of lutein and zeaxanthin from Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS), which is currently an underutilized biomass stream that contains a yet to be determined amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. In this study, the compounds were extracted via Soxhlet and verified with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Further purification was carried out using a centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC), a liquid-liquid countercurrent chromatography technique.




Engelberth, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering

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