Poet Replacing More Petroleum Products with Inviz

Poet this week announced that it is one step closer to realizing the maximum value from each part of the corn kernel with a new ethanol co-product, Inviz, which, the company said could replace petroleum-based ingredients in household products ranging from pill coatings to plastic packaging.

Inviz is Poet’s brand of zein, a biodegradable, low-nutrient protein found in corn. It can be used as a gum base or in films, packaging, adhesives, coatings and glazes. Inviz zein is extracted using a patent-pending process developed by Poet.

Inviz is derived from the less valuable protein in Poet’s Dakota Gold HP distiller’s grains. It differs from other zein products because Poet’s production process fractionates the corn kernel and ferments ethanol without using heat. For that reason, Inviz is a more pure corn protein than other zein products, which are typically exposed to sulfur dioxide in the wet-milling process.

Poet’s research into zein started in 2004 through collaboration with the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria, Illinois.

Poet CEO Jeff Broin said that he sees a lot of unrealized potential in the zein market, and he expects Inviz to open up many new uses for corn.

“The corn kernel has so much untapped potential,” Broin said. “With Inviz, we are still providing fuel and high-protein feed to the world while using the least nutritional part of the kernel to replace even more petroleum-based products.”

Zein is a class of prolamine proteins found in corn. Pure zein is colorless, odorless, tasteless, hard, water-insoluble, edible and biodegradable. Zein has also achieved Generally Regarded As Safe (G.R.A.S.) status from the FDA.

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