Corn an edible crop. The scientific name of corn is Zea Mays. Corn is also known as Indian corn or maize. The corn family name is Poaceae.
Origin of Corn Family
Corn we know today is totally a human invention. The corn plant does not exist naturally in the wild. Scientists believe that corn was first domesticated by native peoples in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. It was started from a wild grass called teosinte. Teosinte looked very different from our corn today. The kernels were small and were not placed close together like kernels on the husked ear of modern corn. It is one of the most widely distributed of the world’s food crops.
Varities In Corn Family
Varieties of yellow and white corn are the most popular as food. Although there are varieties with red, blue, pink, and black kernels, often banded, spotted, or striped. Each ear is enclosed by modified leaves called shucks or husks. Many industrial varieties of corn are genetically modified for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. The purpose is to produce proteins from Bacillus thurienginsis (Bt) to kill specific insect pests. In addition, some strains have been genetically engineered for greater drought tolerance.
A commercial classification is based mainly on kernel texture. Many kinds of corn are known today. The most common types are flint, dent, sweet and of course popcorn.
Flint Corn: also known as Indian corn has a hard outer shell and kernels with a range of colors from white to red. Today, most flint corn is grown in Central and South America.
Dent Corn: often called “field corn” is often used as livestock feed. Dent corn is also the main kind of corn used when making industrial products and various foods. It can be either white or yellow.
Sweet Corn: is often eaten on the cob or it can be canned or frozen. It is seldom processed into feed or flour. Sweet corn gets its name because it contains more sugar than other types of corn.
Popcorn: a type of flint corn, has a soft starchy center that is covered by a very hard shell. When popcorn is heated the natural moisture inside the kernel turns to steam. They builds up enough pressure for the kernel to explode. When the kernel explodes the white starchy mass that you like to eat forms.
Corn: It’s Feed, Fuel, Food and Everything.