Aims: Rapid and efficient methods will be developed to characterize phytochemicals from crude and processed agricultural products and co-products and develop new products from current agricultural crops and developing new crops.
Background: The production of biofuels and agricultural food products generates a variety of co-products (carbon dioxide, sugars, corn dried distillers grain; glycerol; seed press cakes) and various other less valuable residues. Redirecting these co-products to more profitable, higher value uses would benefit both the producers and processors.
Approach: Characterized phytochemicals will be evaluated in plants and plant products from established crops and new crops, as well as in products from biofuel crops, such as oil fractions, oil seed press cakes, and dried distillers grains. This research will be used to develop non-destructive spectrophotometric analytical methods to rapidly assess the levels of specific phytochemicals in seeds, tissues, and processed products. New phytochemical-based product sources from crops grown on marginal crop lands will be examined as sources of commercial products useful for agricultural purposes.
Outcomes: This research will be used to develop new agricultural pest control products for bacterial, fungus, insects, nematodes, and weeds; chemical feed stocks for industrial processes; and to enhance the use of existing or develop new functional foods for improved health in humans and animals. Our research will target those activities that improve the practical use of by-products by creating new uses and markets for these products. This research will result in defined roles for phytochemicals and new/enhanced functional products and foods.