Maize or Corn is an annual cereal to the grass family of ‘Gramineae’. It is one of the most successful cereal grasses of all time. Originated around 10,000 years back, corn is a rich source of carbohydrates, Vitamin B, proteins and minerals. This nutritional cereal is consumed both by humans and industries. Corn flour, corn oil, cornflake, corn syrup, popcorn, rice corn and corn soap are some popular examples of corn products.
Corn oil is a pale yellow oil procured from the kernel of corn. It is further refined to obtain a tasteless and odorless oil having higher degree of polyunsaturated fats with a high smoke point. It is extensively used in baking, salad dressings, frying and to make margarine. This edible oil has a milder taste and is less expensive than other types of vegetable oils. It is also used in the manufacture of alcohol and ethanol, a commonly used alternative fuel.
Being a rich source of nutrients, corn oil has ability to improve HDL (good cholesterol) and help to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol). It is also good for diet, hypertension, and coroner heart sufferer.
Corn Oil Composition
Refined corn oil contains 99% triglyceride, with proportions of approximately 59% polyunsaturated fatty acid, 24% monounsaturated fatty acid, and 13% saturated fatty acid.
The following chart itself explains the nutritional value of corn. It comprises of:
• Carbohydrate 80 %
• Protein 10 %
• Oil 4-5 %
• Fibrous 3-5 %
• Mineral 2 %
The presence of thiamin in maize helps in keeping the memory power intact, thereby preventing the dreaded “Alzheimer’s” disease. Consumption of corn also prevents the occurrence of lung cancer as it is rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in corn in large proportion.
Corn Oil a Bio Fuel
Biofuels are renewable liquid fuels made from plant matter. These fuels are gaining importance now a days when the prices of the fossil fuels are surging up. With the advancement of refining techniques, corn oil is also emerging as a popular source of Biodiesel. Till now, soybean or rapeseed oil is commonly used as bio fuel.
Industrial uses of Corn Oil
Corn oil is extensively used in many industrial applications. It is sometimes used as a carrier for drug molecules in pharmaceutical preparations. It is widely used in:
• Soap Manufacturing Units
• Salve Industries
• Inks & Paint Units
• Textile Industries, etc.