One example is the steeping of maize, part of the milling process. As described by the US Corn Refiners Association, harvested kernels of maize are cleaned and then steeped in water at a temperature of 50 degrees C for 30 to 40 hours. In the process their moisture content rises from 15% to 45% and their volume more than doubles. The gluten bonds in the maize are weakened and starch is released.
The maize is then ground to break free the germ and other components, and the water used (steepwater), which has absorbed various nutrients, is recycled for use in animal feeds.
US Patent Issued to Fluid-Quip on Sept. 6 for "Process for Steeping Corn and Steeping System Therefore" (California Inventor)
Sep 07, 2011; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 7 -- United States Patent no. 8,012,262, issued on Sept. 6, was assigned to Fluid-Quip Inc. (Springfield,...
WIPO ASSIGNS PATENT TO INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FOR "STEEPING LIQUOR USED AS A MEANS OF CONTROLLING THE RISK OF FIRE AND EXPLOSION OF ORGANIC EXTRACTIVE MATERIALS" (FRENCH INVENTOR)
Feb 21, 2011; GENEVA, Feb. 21 -- Publication No. WO/2011/018561 was published on Feb. 17. Title of the invention: "STEEPING LIQUOR USED...