Species: Z. mays
Subspecies: Z. mays subsp. mays
Trinomial name: Zea mays subsp. mays L.
English Name: Maize, corn
Nepali Name: Makai
Other common names: Indian corn, flint corn, mielie (Afrikaans) or mealie (English), milho (Portuguese), sweet corn, sweetcorn, corn on the cob, popcorn, corn flakes, baby corn.
Trade Name: corn, maize kernel
The maize plant is often 2.5 m (8 ft) in height, though some natural strains can grow 12 m (39 ft). The stem has the appearance of a bamboo cane and is commonly composed of 20 internodes of 18 cm (7.1 in) length. A leaf grows from each node, which is generally 9 cm in width and 120 cm in length. Ears develop above a few of the leaves in the midsection of the plant, between the stem and leaf sheath, elongating by 3 mm/day, to a length of 18 cm with 60 cm being the maximum observed in the subspecies. They are female inflorescences, tightly enveloped by several layers of ear leaves commonly called husks. Certain varieties of maize have been bred to produce many additional developed ears. These are the source of the "baby corn" used as a vegetable in Asian cuisine.
The apex of the stem ends in the tassel, an inflorescence of male flowers. When the tassel is mature and conditions are suitably warm and dry, anthers on the tassel dehisce and release pollen. Maize pollen is anemophilous (dispersed by wind), and because of its large settling velocity, most pollen falls within a few meters of the tassel. Elongated stigmas, called silks, emerge from the whorl of husk leaves at the end of the ear. They are often pale yellow and 18 cm (7 in) in length, like tufts of hair in appearance. At the end of each is a carpel, which may develop into a "kernel" if fertilized by a pollen grain. The pericarp of the fruit is fused with the seed coat referred to as "caryopsis", typical of the grasses, and the entire kernel is often referred to as the "seed". Maize kernels are of various colors: blackish, bluish-gray, purple, green, red, white and yellow. When ground into flour, maize yields more flour with much less bran than wheat does. It lacks the protein gluten of wheat and, therefore, makes baked goods with poor rising capability.
In a 100-gram serving, maize kernels provide 86 calories and are a good of the B vitamins, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid (B5) and folate. Maize kernel provides dietary fiber and the essential minerals, magnesium and phosphorus whereas other nutrients are in low amounts. It is the subject of genetic engineering research to improve levels of carotenoids, such as provitamin A, beta-carotene.
Corn kernel can be used as:
- As Human food
- As Chemicals: Maize starch can be made into fabrics, adhesives, plastics, and many other chemical products. The corn steep liquor is used in the biochemical industry and research as a culture medium to grow many kinds of microorganisms. Chrysanthemin is found in purple corn and is used as a food coloring.
- Fodder: Maize produces a greater quantity of biomass than other cereal plants, which is used for fodder. Digestibility and palatability are higher when ensiled and fermented, rather than dried.
- Bio-fuel: Maize cobs are also used as a biomass fuel source. Maize is relatively cheap and home-heating furnaces have been developed which use maize kernels as a fuel. They feature a large hopper that feeds the uniformly sized maize kernels (or wood pellets or cherry pits) into the fire. It is also used as a feedstock for the production of ethanol fuel.
- Animal feed
- Food additive
- Ornamental and other uses
Corn is usually packed in food graded sacks with customized quantity or size. We also provide customized packaging as per buyer’s choice and shipping modes.