WASHINGTON, DC, US — In light of the ongoing public health crisis, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) and its members on March 19 assured consumers of the continued production and supply of corn-based alcohol used in the making of hand sanitizers.

Virus-killing hand sanitizer has been in high demand during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 “America’s corn refiners are producing trainloads of industrial alcohol on a daily basis,” said John Bode, president and chief executive officer of the Corn Refiners Association. “There has been no shortfall in meeting alcohol orders for production of hand sanitizers or other health-related sanitizing products. The distribution system is quickly catching up with the surge in demand for these products.

“To facilitate that catch-up and ensure that everyone has the supply of these products that they need, we ask that 1) consumers avoid hoarding practices and 2) local and state governments ensure that their well-intentioned policies not limit work of critical infrastructure personnel in the production and distribution of health and food products. We greatly appreciate the work of the federal government to provide guidance on maintenance of critical infrastructure operations.”

 In the production of hand sanitizers, cornstarch is converted to glucose and combined with yeast to produce ethanol, a main ingredient in many hand sanitizers. Toiletries and cosmetics, which include hand sanitizer, account for almost a quarter of US end-markets for industrial alcohol.

 Beyond hand sanitizer, in many cases, one-quarter of hand soap’s ingredients are corn-based, including corn oil and products made from bioprocessing. For example, xanthan gum thickens and stabilizes soap.

 The Corn Refiners Association continues to work in close coordination with food and agriculture industry allies to ensure the safe and secure supply chains.