Industry Trends

Practices › F&B Processing and TechnologyCorn Wet-Milling Market

Corn Wet-Milling Market

Food & Beverage
F&B Processing and Technology

The overall market is expected to grow from USD 58.09 billion in 2015 to USD 77.50 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 5.0% from 2016 to 2021. The increased demand for corn-based sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup in processed food & beverages, increase in consumption of corn gluten meal-based feed products, and increased demand for biofuels such as ethanol are the key factors driving the growth of this market.

The corn wet-milling market has been segmented, on the basis of the end product, into sweeteners, gluten feed & gluten meal, ethanol, starches, and others. The market for sweeteners is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021. Among all the end products, sweeteners are the most widely used in the food & beverage as well as the pharmaceutical industry.

The market has been segmented, on the basis of application, into feed, food, and industrial. The market for feed application is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021. Among all the applications, corn wet-milling is used the most in the feed industry owing to demand for abundant, safe, and affordable animal protein. Apart from this, increased demand for meat such as poultry, swine & beef, dairy, and fish especially in emerging economies such as Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa are expected to create high growth prospects for corn-wet milling producers in the coming years amidst rise in income among individuals in these regions.

The corn wet-milling market has been segmented, on the basis of source, into dent corn and waxy corn. The market for dent corn is projected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021. Among both the sources, dent corn is the most commonly used corn in corn wet-milling process to manufacture corn syrup, food starch, feed, and ethanol.

The market has been segmented, on the basis of equipment, into milling equipment, steeping equipment, centrifuge systems, washing & filtration systems, and others. The centrifuge systems are projected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021. They are the most widely used widely used equipment in the corn wet-milling market.

The global market in North America is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. North America is the fastest-growing and largest market for corn wet-milling products. It held a major share in the ethanol segment, which is obtained from the corn wet-milling process. Corn wet-milling products are used in various industries such as food, feed, textiles, paper, pharmaceuticals, personal & healthcare, and others. This is the major factor driving the growth of the market in North America. Apart from this, the region is home to a number of multinational food processing giants such as ADM (US), Cargill (US), and Ingredion (US). The region is also the largest consumer market at a global level for corn products. As a result, North America holds a significant share of the overall corn wet-milling market.

Corn Wet-Milling Market

Corn wet-milling applications in feed, food, and industrials space drive the growth of this market


The end products of the corn wet-milling process such as corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, corn germ meal, corn steep liquor, and amino acids are used in feed. Corn gluten is used in dairy & cattle, poultry, and swine feed while corn steep liquor is beef and dairy feed ingredients. Increased demand for meat such as poultry, swine & beef, dairy, and fish in countries such as China and Brazil are expected to boost demand for feed in these countries, thus driving the market.


The major food ingredients obtained from corn wet-milling process are corn syrup, corn starch, and corn oil other co-products include organic acids, vitamins, amino acid, citric acid, lactic acid, and food gums. Corn syrup can be used as a sweetener in food items such as candies, ice creams, confectionery, and infant formula. High-fructose corn syrup is used in various consumer products such as baked goods, dairy products, fruit-flavored beverages, and soft drinks. Cornstarch is used in various instant and ready-to-eat foods to maintain the textural characteristics during heating, thawing, and freezing. It is also used in jellies, candies, and food sauces. The products obtained from refined corn oil are cooking oil and salad oil, which are used in salad dressings to provide health benefits with concentrated energy content. It is also used to produce margarine, mayonnaise, and other such condiments.

Industrial applications

The products obtained from the corn wet-milling are used in application that serves industries such as textile, paper, personal care, and pharmaceuticals. In the paper and textile industry, industrial corn starch is used for surface coating, sizing, and adhesion. It is also used in the production of construction material, mining, oil & gas drilling, and water filtration. Starch is also used in household items such as batteries, cleaners, matches, and trash bags. It also serves the personal and healthcare industry as an ingredient in items such as cosmetics, soaps, deodorants & hair styling products, medicines, and cough drops. Apart from this, corn starch is used in diapers, bandages, napkins, and baby powders. It can be used as an adhesive to replace petroleum-based acetates. It is also used as a raw material for the production of industrial chemicals and plastics, a relatively new market for cornstarch.

Critical questions the report answers:

  • Where will all these developments take the industry in the mid to long term?
  • What are the upcoming industry applications for corn wet-milling?

The major restraining factor in the corn wet-milling market is the high cost of operations. Corn wet-milling is a highly energy-intensive processing technology in the food & beverage industry and consumes approximately 15% of the total energy used in the entire food industry. Among raw materials, energy cost is the second-largest after corn prices in the wet-milling process. Furthermore, high energy-price volatility adds on to the variable cost of the wet-milling process resulting in reduced predictable earnings for millers. The amount of energy consumed in the milling industry is growing, which in turn restrains the market growth.

Key players in the market include Tate & Lyle PLC (UK), ADM (US), Cargill (US), Ingredion Incorporated (US), Agrana Beteiligungs-AG (Austria), The Roquette Freres (France). Other players include Bunge (US), China Agri-Industries Holding Limited (China), Global Bio-Chem Technology Group Company Limited (Hong Kong), and Grain Processing Corporation (US).

To speak to our analyst for a discussion on the above findings, click Speak to Analyst

We can help find ?

Latent demand for you, for your prospective client, or your prospective partners