Can a Food for Cows Make Healthier Snickerdoodles?



BROOKINGS, S.D.—Padu Krishnan thinks he has a recipe to help Americans eat healthier. He has been cooking up treats using a special ingredient he says can make baked goods more filling and nutritious.

“I’m about changing people’s food habits,” says the 57-year-old professor at South Dakota State University. “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t take off.”

One hurdle: His superfood of the future is the stuff left over from turning corn into fuel ethanol.

Cows and pigs love it—even tilapia have developed a taste for the substance, known as “dried distillers’ grain” or DDG. Made from mashed up corn kernels, it is protein-packed and full of fiber, after ethanol production strips out the starch.

In raw form, it tastes like coarse sawdust and smells like a saloon, due to fermentation.

There is, Mr. Krishnan says, a “barrier of perception.”

Still, for nearly 20 years on and off in his lab he has been refining recipes to slip small amounts unnoticed into cookies, pizza dough and bread. He has corralled students, colleagues and loved ones into taste tests.

His wife, Kristie, has sampled the snickerdoodles. “They didn’t taste weird, like I thought they might,” she says, but “I would have liked more cinnamon in them.”



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