The term bioproducts designates a wide variety of corn refining products made from natural, renewable raw materials, which replace products made from non-renewable resources or which are produced by chemical synthesis. Fermentation of corn-derived glucose has given rise to a multitude of bioproducts including organic acids, amino acids, vitamins, and food gums. Citric and lactic acid from corn can be found in hundreds of food and industrial products.
They provide tartness to foods and confections, help control pH, and are themselves feedstocks for further products. Amino acids from corn provide a vital link in animal nutrition systems. Most grain feeds don't have the amount of lysine required by swine and poultry for optimal nutrition. Economical corn based lysine is now available worldwide to help supplement animal feeds. Threonine and tryptophan for feed supplements also come from corn.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E - vital human nutritional supplements - are now derived from corn, supplanting old production systems which relied on chemical synthesis. Even well-known food additives such as monosodium glutamate and xanthan gum are now produced by fermenting a glucose feedstock. Biopolymers are a more recent development in the category of bioproducts, and an area that shows great promise.
Corn-based polymers including polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), and 1,3 propanediol (Bio-PDO) are high-performance, biodegradable alternatives to petroleum-derived materials. Biodegradable and energy efficient caps, cups, paper coatings, fabrics, carpeting, and a host of other products are all possible today because of corn-based biopolymers.