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BASE OILS - CORN OIL (ZEA MAYS)

BASE / GENERAL DATA

PHOTOGALLERY

Information submited: 2014-10-01 Modified: 2018-04-04 By: 1
Maize, known in some English-speaking countries as Corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels.

Corns the most important cultivation regions are the USA, China, South America, Eastern and Southern Europe including the UK.

Most historians believe Maize was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica, cooked, ground or processed through nixtamalization. Beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas.

After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried Maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates.

The Maize plant is often 2,5 m in height, though some natural strains can grow 12 m. The stem has the appearance of a Bamboo cane and is commonly composed of 20 internodes of 18 cm length. A leaf grows from each node, which is generally 9 cm  in width and 120 cm in length.

The cob is close to a multiple fruit in structure, except that the individual fruits never fuse into a single mass. The grains are about the size of peas, and adhere in regular rows around a white, pithy substance, which forms the ear.  An ear commonly holds 600 kernels.

Young ears can be consumed raw, with the cob and silk, but as the plant matures (usually during the summer months), the cob becomes tougher and the silk dries to inedibility.

Corn oil
(Maize oil) is oil extracted from the germ of Corn (Maize). The seed contains 30 - 40% oil which is obtained by pressing and extraction.

Corn oil is regarded highly for its functionality, exceptional flavor, economy, and health benefits. It is a concentrated source of energy, is very digestible, provides essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, and is a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Some specialty oil producers manufacture unrefined, 100% expeller pressed Corn oil. This is a more expensive product since it has a much lower yield than the combination expeller and solvent process, as well as smaller market share.

Chemical structure:


Of the saturated fatty acids, 80% are palmitic acid, 14% stearic acid, and 3% arachidic acid. Over 99% of the monounsaturated fatty acids are oleic acid .98% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids are the omega-6 linoleic acid with the 2% remainder being the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.
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