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SWEET CORN (Maize)

Sweet corn is a special maize variety in which its tender, delicious kernels eaten as a vegetable. In contrast to traditional field corn, sugar corn varieties are harvested when their corn-ear just reached milk stage, and used sooner since its sugars tend to quickly convert into starch.

Genetically, it differs from the field corn by mutation at the sugary (su) locus. Its crop has achieved a major success as one of the important commercial cash crops in many tropical and semi-tropical countries. Scientific name: Zea mays var. saccharata.

Health benefits of sweet corn

  • At 86 calories per 100 g, sugar corn kernels are moderately high in calories on comparison to other vegetables. However, fresh sweet corn has much less calories than that of in the field corn and other cereals like wheat, rice, etc. Their calorie mainly comes from simpler carbohydrates like glucose, sucrose than complex sugars like amylose and amylopectin, which is a case in the cereals.
  • Sweet corn is gluten-free cereal and may be used safely in celiac disease individuals much like rice etc
  • Sugar corn features high-quality phyto-nutrition profile comprising of dietary fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in addition to moderate proportions of minerals. It is one of the finest source of dietary fibers, 100 g kernels carry 2 g or 5% of daily-requirement of dietary-fiber. Together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber in the food help regulate in gradual increase in blood sugar levels. However, corn, in line with rice etc., is one of high glycemic index food items, limiting its role as the chief food ingredient in diabetes patients.
  • Yellow variety corn has significant levels of phenolic flavonoid pigment antioxidants such as ß-carotenes, and lutein, xanthins and cryptoxanthin pigments along with vitamin A. 100 g fresh kernels provide 187 IU or 6% of daily-requirement of vitamin-A. Altogether; these compounds are required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin and vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Corn is a good source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidant, ferulic acid. Several research studies suggest that ferulic acid plays vital role in preventing cancers, aging, and inflammation in humans.
  • It also contains good levels of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folates, riboflavin, and pyridoxine. Many of these vitamins function as co-factors to enzymes during substrate metabolism.
  • Further, it contains healthy amounts of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.

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