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Maize
Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences (or "tassels") and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that when fertilized yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits. The term ''maize'' is preferred in formal, scientific, and international usage as a common name because it refers specifically to this one grain, unlike ''corn'', which has a complex variety of meanings that vary by context and geographic region. Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. In addition to being consumed directly by humans (often in the form of masa), maize is also used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn s ...
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Corn Kernels
Corn kernels are the fruits of corn (called maize in many countries). Maize is a grain, and the kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable or a source of starch. The kernel comprise endosperm, germ, pericarp, and tip cap. One ear of corn contains roughly 800 kernels in 16 rows. Corn kernels are readily available in bulk throughout maize-producing areas. They have a number of uses, including food and biofuel. Corn consists of the husk and the silk, often mistaken for the husk. Description Corn kernels are the fruits of maize. Maize is a grain, and the kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable or a source of starch. The kernels can be of various colors: blackish, bluish-gray, purple, green, red, white and yellow. One ear of corn contains roughly 800 kernels in 16 rows. One hundred bushels of corn can contain upwards of 7,280,000 kernels. Transportation and packaging of dried clean corn kernels to non-producing areas adds to the cost. Parts The kernel of maize consists of a ...
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Sweet Corn
Sweet corn (''Zea mays'' convar. ''saccharata'' var. ''rugosa''), also called sugar corn and pole corn, is a variety of maize grown for human consumption with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Sweet corn is picked when still in the immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than field corn, which is harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage). Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar to starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, before the kernels become tough and starchy. It is one of the six major types of maize, the others being dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, and flour corn. According to the USDA, 100 grams of raw yellow sweet corn contains 3.43 g glucose, 1.94 g fructose, and 0.89 g sucrose. History In ...
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Pod Corn
Pod corn or wild maize is a variety of maize. It is not a wild ancestor of maize but rather a mutant that forms leaves around each kernel. Pod corn (''tunicata'' Sturt) is not grown commercially, but it is preserved in some localities. Pod corn forms glumes around each kernel which is caused by a mutation at the Tunicate locus. Because of its bizarre appearance, pod corn has had a religious significance to certain Native American tribes. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn Sweet corn (''Zea mays'' convar. ''saccharata'' var. ''rugosa''), also called sugar corn and pole corn, is a variety of maize grown for human consumption with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive muta ....Linda Campbell Franklin, "Corn," in Andrew F. Smith (ed.), ''The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America''. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013 (pp. 551–558), p. 553. Referenc ...
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Cornmeal
Cornmeal is a meal (coarse flour) or a cell membrane ground from dried corn. It is a common staple food, and is ground to coarse, medium, and fine consistencies, but not as fine as wheat flour can be.Herbst, Sharon, ''Food Lover's Companion'', Third Edition, Pg. 165, Barrons Educational Series Inc, 2001 In Mexico, very finely ground cornmeal is referred to as corn flour. When fine cornmeal is made from maize that has been soaked in an alkaline solution, e.g., limewater (a process known as nixtamalization), it is called masa harina (or masa flour), which is used for making arepas, tamales and tortillas. Boiled cornmeal is called polenta in Italy and is also a traditional dish and bread substitute in Romania. Types There are various types of cornmeal: *''Blue cornmeal'' is light blue or violet in color. It is ground from whole blue corn and has a sweet flavor. The cornmeal consists of dried corn kernels that have been ground into a fine or medium texture. *''Steel-ground yell ...
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Corn Starch
Corn starch, maize starch, or cornflour (British English) is the starch derived from corn ( maize) grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the kernel. Corn starch is a common food ingredient, often used to thicken sauces or soups, and to make corn syrup and other sugars. Corn starch is versatile, easily modified, and finds many uses in industry such as adhesives, in paper products, as an anti-sticking agent, and textile manufacturing. It has medical uses as well, such as to supply glucose for people with glycogen storage disease. Like many products in dust form, it can be hazardous in large quantities due to its flammability—see dust explosion. When mixed with a fluid, corn starch can rearrange itself into a non-Newtonian fluid. For example, adding water transforms corn starch into a material commonly known as oobleck while adding oil transforms corn starch into an electrorheological (ER) fluid. The concept can be explained through the mixture termed "cor ...
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Flour Corn
Flour corn (''Zea mays'' var. ''amylacea'') is a variety of corn with a soft starchy endosperm and a thin pericarp. It is primarily used to make corn flour. This type, frequently found in Aztec and Inca graves, is widely grown in the drier parts of the United States, western South America and South Africa. The large-seeded corns of Peru are used in the preparation of ''chicha''. In South Africa they are known as ''bread mealies''. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn Sweet corn (''Zea mays'' convar. ''saccharata'' var. ''rugosa''), also called sugar corn and pole corn, is a variety of maize grown for human consumption with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive muta ....Linda Campbell Franklin, "Corn," in Andrew F. Smith (ed.), ''The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America''. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013 (pp. 551–558), p. 553. References ...
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Corn Ethanol
Corn ethanol is ethanol produced from corn biomass and is the main source of ethanol fuel in the United States, mandated to be blended with gasoline in the Renewable Fuel Standard. Corn ethanol is produced by ethanol fermentation and distillation. It is debatable whether the production and use of corn ethanol results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Approximately 45% of U.S. corn croplands are used for ethanol production. Uses Since 2001, corn ethanol production has increased by more than several times. Out of 9.50 billions of bushels of corn produced in 2001, 0.71 billions of bushels were used to produce corn ethanol. Compared to 2018, out of 14.62 billions of bushels of corn produced, 5.60 billion bushels were used to produce corn ethanol, reported by the United States Department of Energy. Overall, 95% of ethanol is produced from corn. Currently, corn ethanol is mainly used in blends with gasoline to create mixtures such as E10, E15, and E85. Ethanol is ...
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Staple Food
A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food that is eaten often and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard Diet (nutrition), diet for a given person or group of people, supplying a large fraction of Food energy, energy needs and generally forming a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients as well. A staple food of a specific society may be eaten as often as every day or every meal, and most people live on a diet based on just a small number of food staples. Specific staples vary from place to place, but typically are inexpensive or readily available foods that supply one or more of the macronutrients and micronutrients needed for survival and health: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, Mineral (nutrient), minerals, and vitamins. Typical examples include tubers and roots, grains, legumes, and seeds. Among them, cereals, legumes, tubers, and roots account for about 90% of the world's food calories intake. Early agricultural ...
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Masa
''Masa'' (or ''masa de maíz'') (; ) is a maize dough that comes from ground nixtamalized corn. It is used for making corn tortillas, ''gorditas'', ''tamales'', ''pupusas'', and many other Latin American dishes. It is dried and powdered into a flour form called ''masa harina''. Masa is reconstituted from masa harina by mixing with water before use in cooking. In Spanish, ''masa harina'' translates to "dough flour", which can refer to many other types of dough. Preparation Field corn grain is dried and then treated by cooking the mature, hard grain in a diluted solution of slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) or wood ash, and then letting it soak for many hours. The soaked maize is then rinsed thoroughly to remove the unpalatable flavor of the alkali. This process is nixtamalization, and it produces hominy, which is ground into a relatively dry dough to create fresh masa. The fresh masa can be sold or used directly, or can be dehydrated and blended into a powder to create masa ha ...
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Popcorn
Popcorn (also called popped corn, popcorns or pop-corn) is a variety of corn kernel which expands and puffs up when heated; the same names also refer to the foodstuff produced by the expansion. A popcorn kernel's strong hull contains the seed's hard, starchy shell endosperm with 14–20% moisture, which turns to steam as the kernel is heated. Pressure from the steam continues to build until the hull ruptures, allowing the kernel to forcefully expand, to 20 to 50 times its original size, and then cool. Some strains of corn ( taxonomized as ''Zea mays'') are cultivated specifically as popping corns. The ''Zea mays'' variety ''everta'', a special kind of flint corn, is the most common of these. Popcorn is one of six major types of corn, which includes dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, flour corn, and sweet corn. History Corn was domesticated about 10,000 years ago, in what is now Mexico. Archaeologists discovered that people have known about popcorn for thousands of years. ...
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Cereal Grain
A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. They include wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat, quinoa and chia, are referred to as pseudocereals. In their unprocessed whole grain form, cereals are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. When processed by the removal of the bran and germ the remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate. In some developing countries, grain in the form of rice, wheat, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed countries, cereal consumption is moderate and varied but still substantial, primarily in the form of refined and processed grains. Because ...
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Corn Oil
Corn oil (North American) or maize oil (British) is oil extracted from the germ of corn (maize). Its main use is in cooking, where its high smoke point makes refined corn oil a valuable frying oil. It is also a key ingredient in some margarines. Corn oil is generally less expensive than most other types of vegetable oils. Corn oil is also a feedstock used for biodiesel. Other industrial uses for corn oil include soap, salve, paint, erasers, rustproofing for metal surfaces, inks, textiles, nitroglycerin, and insecticides. It is sometimes used as a carrier for drug molecules in pharmaceutical preparations. Production Almost all corn oil is expeller-pressed, then solvent-extracted using hexane or 2-methylpentane (isohexane).Corn Refiners AssociationCorn Oil 5th Edition. 2006 The solvent is evaporated from the corn oil, recovered, and re-used. After extraction, the corn oil is then refined by degumming and/or alkali treatment, both of which remove phosphatides. Alkali treatment ...
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