• Jingwen Xu
  • Yonghui LiEmail author
  • Weiqun Wang


Corn is an economic crop and serves as a staple and primary diet for large populations in many areas. Starch accounts for the largest constituent in corn, followed by protein, fiber, fat, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Zein protein is the major storage protein; however, zein is deficient in basic and acidic amino acids, especially lysine and tryptophan. In addition to providing macronutrients and micronutrients, corn also contains non-nutrient phytochemicals such as phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids. The amount of specific phytochemicals in corn varies depending on genotypes and environmental factors. Overall, colorful corn such as blue and purple corns has more anthocyanins than yellow and white corn. Phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids have shown many health benefits associated with lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as having anticancer, antihypertension, and anti-inflammation effects and preventing obesity. Dietary fiber in corn can also bring many health benefits such as weight control and gut health. However, the amount and bioavailability of micronutrients and non-nutrient phytochemicals in corn are relatively low. Heat processing results in the loss of vitamins and phytochemicals due to their low thermal stability. Hence, approaches such as fortification either in breeding or food processing have been applied for the purpose of increasing certain types of nutrient in food.



This is contribution no. 18-622-B from the Kansas Agricultural Experimental Station.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Nutrition Dietetics and HealthKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Grain Science and IndustryKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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