Corn, one of the oldest cultivated plants globally, probably originated in Mexico and has been known as a food and crop for a highly long time. Due to various breeds, around 50,000 varieties of corn are common today. It was considered a staple food by the Incas and Aztecs because the tropical climate is conducive to the growth of corn. Corn has only been famous in Europe since Christopher Columbus.
Today’s use of corn
As a food, corn should be known to everyone. But it is also a foodstuff in agriculture for cattle, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. Around two-thirds of local cultivation is intended for fodder production. In addition, corn can be processed into biofuel. Around half of all food consumed worldwide contains corn – in Mexico, it is even 70%. Corn flour, corn starch, and corn oil are known.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just process the corn kernels. Leaves and stems can also be used profitably – in arts and crafts, in toy manufacture, or processed into paper. Even medicinal tea is made from the hairs of the corn plant.
Maize – valuable raw material
Corn is also used as a raw material. Processing it into ethanol, starch, and more is reasonable for all products. Corn starch is also an essential item in pharmacy – because it is used as the basis for tablets. Bioplastic is also a product made from corn. Due to these many possibilities of use, it is assumed that the cultivation of maize will increase more and more.
Corn is grown under this name, which, thanks to the crossing of different varieties, grows faster and is also disease-resistant. It is mechanically harvested and can bring in two harvests per year. Since it can be stored better than other grains, it is trendy.
Interesting facts about corn
The corn plant is an annual and characteristically sweet grass. It can grow up to three meters high. Male and female flowers are present – with the spadix only growing on the female stems. 10-18 rows of corn kernels are standard per cob, with the seeds themselves having an oil content of 40-50%. Other names for the corn are Kukuruz and Welschkorn. Meanwhile, corn can grow worldwide because there are cold-resistant plants.
The corn oil
Corn oil is very healthy as a popular edible oil because it contains many unsaturated fatty acids. It is trendy for frying. It is now known that corn oil has a health-promoting effect and the mild taste is very suitable for cold dishes. Because it can lower cholesterol and has a high vitamin E content, this improves the complexion. Personal care products and margarine are partly made based on corn oil. It helps against rheumatism, and inflammation can also be healed.
Components of corn oil
At 59%, corn oil has one of the highest proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The oil contains only a few omega-3 fatty acids but many omega-6 fatty acids, which positively affect the cardiovascular system. Due to the low proportion of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids, corn oil is a healthy oil that slightly negatively affects the human organism.
Corn oil is also free of cholesterol and is often used for a low-cholesterol diet. Corn oil is also used in diets because of its cholesterol-free properties. The oil also contains vitamin E, which positively affects the skin thanks to its nourishing properties.
The manufacture of corn oil
It takes up to 100 kilos of corn to produce one liter of oil. The corn oil is obtained from the germ of the corn kernel, which is separated from the corn starch during production. The seedlings are pressed cold or hot with a press machine. Hexane, a chemical solvent, is added to the resulting press cake. Oil is extracted with hexane. Otherwise, a residual oil content will remain in the seedlings. Then you have to free the press oil from mucilage and wax. After this purification process, the corn oil is dried, bleached, cooled, and subjected to a final filtering process. The corn oil is now suitable for storage in refrigerators. Since corn oil is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, beta-carotene is added.
Health facts about the corn oil
Corn oil is one of the most popular types of edible oil globally and has a very high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is mainly used for deep-frying and roasting chips, vegetables, meat, and potatoes. The nutrient-rich vegetable oil is too good for that. This is because it loses some of its most valuable ingredients. Numerous studies have confirmed the health-promoting effect of corn oil, and its mild taste makes the oil ideal for cold dishes. It has a cholesterol-lowering effect, high vitamin E content, and positively improves the complexion. The corn oil also forms the basis for margarine and personal care products. In medicine, corn oil is prescribed for rheumatism,
Overall, the corn plant offers an extensive range of possible applications.
Corn oil contains a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids.
Corn oil is a vegetable oil that contains a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. More than 50% of these are polyunsaturated fatty acids. This puts corn oil at the top of the list of vegetable oils in terms of the proportion of essential fatty acids. The body cannot produce these fatty acids on its own, and it has to absorb them through food. Corn oil is not only an excellent supplier of fatty acids but also has health-promoting properties. The oil has a low acid content, and the fatty acids have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and blood lipoproteins in the body. There are also significant amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin A in corn oil. They prevent the oil from going rancid and take on essential functions in cell structure and cell growth in the body. Vitamin E increases the ability to concentrate and vitality and positively affects rheumatic diseases. Vitamin K promotes blood clotting and strengthens the immune system.
Use and storage of corn oil
There is refined and cold-pressed corn oil. Both oil variants are natural dietary products. They are suitable for people suffering from obesity, arteriosclerosis, blood pressure, and the elderly. Since refined corn oil does not produce any toxic substances when frying or cooking, it can daily be used in the kitchen. However, cold-pressed corn oil is tastier and more intense than refined corn oil. It retains its ingredients best when not heated. Therefore, cold-pressed corn oil should only be used to refine salads and raw food dishes. For the oil to keep for a long time, it is essential to protect it from heat, light, and oxygen. An excellent, dark place is ideal. The open corn oil has a shelf life of around two months.
Not only humans but all mammals are dependent on essential fatty acids. These are vital for the organism. Since animals and humans cannot produce these fatty acids themselves, they must be ingested through food.
Animals primarily need linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid found in all vegetable oils. Since corn oil has a very high proportion of linoleic acid, this oil is an essential source of nutrients for pets. The fatty acids protect the nervous system’s eyesight and care for the skin. Corn oil also strengthens the immune system in animals.
Feed corn oil to pets
One tablespoon of corn oil can be added to animal feed once daily. It is essential that only cold-pressed corn oil is used and that the oil is not heated. Corn oil also has medicinal properties. Many veterinarians prescribe the oil as a bland diet for dogs and cats suffering from gastrointestinal disease or liver problems. The ingredients and vitamins in corn oil promote muscle growth. You can even mix it into the feed of horses to support training. As with humans, corn oil cares for the skin and fur of animals. There are commercially available conditioners containing corn oil that leave the coat soft and shiny and are suitable for all coat types.
Corn oil against fleas
Corn oil has also proven itself as a home remedy. If the pet suffers from fleas, a water bath with corn oil will help. To do this, massage the corn oil thoroughly into the pet’s skin and hair. The fleas suffocate on the oil and then fall out of the animal’s hair. The pet should be groomed with a narrow-toothed brush or a flea comb.
Popcorn, famous in the cinema and at parties, originally comes from the USA or South America. The origin has not been clarified to this day. However, researchers found 4,000-year-old popcorn kernels during excavations in Mexico, so it can be assumed that popcorn was known to the natives of the time. In the USA, the popcorn boom came with the cinemas. From the 1930s, it became a popular candy around the world. Popcorn is usually eaten with sugar or salt. There are also variants with caramel. With 78 g of carbohydrates per 100 g of popcorn, popcorn is a high-fiber snack that tastes good and promotes natural digestion.
Cornflakes are tasty corn flakes.
Many people eat cornflakes every morning without realizing that the tasty breakfast cereal is corn. It was invented around 140 years ago by the American doctor John Harvey Kellogg, who, together with his brother, was looking for a healthy snack for his patients. However, he first created wheat flakes. It was only later that his brother developed the flakes into cornflakes when he founded the Kellogg Company. For the production of cornflakes, the corn kernels must first be boiled and then rolled and dried. Then they are mixed with sugar and malt. They taste best with milk and yogurt or in fruit muesli. Cornflakes are so popular that every German eats around a kilo a year. The corn flakes are available in different flavors with chocolate, honey.
Sweetcorn is a cultivated type of corn offered as a vegetable in the USA around 100 years ago and has since become one of the most commonly eaten types of corn. They are characterized by a delightful taste and contain a lot of sugar. The pith inside the plant stem also has sugar. It provides the cob with the necessary energy for its development. There are different corn seeds with different sugar contents and degrees of sweetness. The most well-known variety of sweetcorn is the Golden Bantam. Piston quality is among the best in the world. The sweetcorn is usually imported as it thrives best in warm climates.
Whole cob sweetcorn
Sweetcorn is healthiest when eaten fresh. It contains essential nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins B1, B2, and B6 and potassium and magnesium. Corn is high in calories and fiber. One hundred grams of cob corn has 330 calories. The sweetcorn season is between July and November. During this time, fresh sweetcorn is available in greengrocers. Since fresh corn still ripens, you can use a simple trick to determine whether the sweet corn is already suitable for consumption. You cut a corn kernel with a knife. When a milky sap comes out, the corn is at its optimum ripeness. However, the fresh sweetcorn should not be stored for longer than a day or two, as after harvesting, it converts its sugar content into starch and gradually loses its sweet taste.
The sweet corn processed as canned corn after harvesting has significantly fewer calories than dried or fresh corn. One hundred grams of canned corn contains only 80 calories. Unfortunately, canned corn also loses some of its nutrients and vitamins. But the difference to fresh sweetcorn is not too big. The advantage of canned corn is that it lasts a long time and is easy to store. The canned corn is often sweeter than the fresh candy corn. This is because many manufacturers add sugar to corn. When buying, you should therefore check the contents on the can beforehand.