Economics of HFCS production

25 kg (approximately one bushel) of corn yields in the wet milling process about 0.75 kg of corn oil, 6.3 kg corn gluten feed, 1.2 kg corn gluten meal and 14 kg HFCS 55 (on a dry basis). Based upon values given in BIOTOL (1991) and in the mass balance shown in Table 2.11 the production costs have been calculated for HFCS 55 (70-86% dry solids) as shown in Table 2.12. These data vary depending on parameters related to the actual production plant, country and production year, but they can be used as an illustration of the various costs of the different operation steps involved. A more detailed description of the development of glucose syrups, their science and technology and progression as the basis of a highly complex, biotechnological based industry is described by Dziedzic and Kearsley (1984).

Products and fractionsMass (kg)
Corn (90% dry solids)100
Corn oil3.0
Corn gluten feed25.2
Corn gluten meal4.8
HFCS (78% dry solids)73.0
Table 2.11 Estimated mass balance of the corn wet milling and HFCS process
Process stepValues in US$ per 100 kg of HFCS (70-86% dry solids; average = 78%)
Sales values
Value of byproducts11
Value of HFCS 5528–40 (1989)
Costs of HFCS production
Raw material
– Corn (137 kg)(10.70)a
– Net starch costs8.80
Capital depreciation2.30
Labour (2.5 men)2.00
Milling and feed preparation7.00
Refinery utilities1.00
Liquefaction enzymes0.17
Saccharification enzymes0.35
Clarification filter aid0.12
Carbon treatment
– dextrose0.30
– HFCS0.20
Ion exchange
– resins0.38
– chemicals0.03
– resin0.12
– evaporation0.16
Final evaporation0.32
Total production cost23.85
Table 2.12 Production costs of HFCS 55 in US$ per 100 kg of HFCS (70-86% dry solids; average = 78%)

a Not used for calculation

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