Poet LLC, the nation's top ethanol producer, says it is introducing a co-product that can be used as a gum base or in films, packaging, adhesives, coatings and glazes.

Inviz is Poet's brand name of zein (ZEE'-in), a biodegradable, low-nutrient protein derived from its corn-based distiller's grains.

The Sioux Falls-based company says it can replace petroleum-based ingredients in household products ranging from pill coatings to plastic packaging.

Poet began its research into zein in 2004 through a collaboration with the Peoria, Ill.-based National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research.

Poet Chief Executive Jeff Broin says the corn kernel has a lot of untapped potential and he expects zein to open up many new uses for corn.

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