Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Field Corn

Corn is one of the oldest cultivated grains, and a New World plant that reached Europe and beyond only because of the Columbus maritime exploration teams. There are three major types or varieties of corn grown in the United States: sweet corn, field corn and popcorn. 

The greatest part is a variety of field corn and it cannot be eaten without processing. Field is an entirely different product than the sweet corn with which consumers are familiar. Field corn is allowed to mature and partially dry in the field prior to harvest in the fall. Field corn is easier to grow – the moisture readings an combine settings aren’t nearly as precise. 

 Field corn is typically dried on the farm prior to delivery to grain terminals or mills to prevent the growth of mold during storage. Corn kernels are dry milled to separate the germ and bran layers from the endosperm. 

The majority of the oil in a corn kernel is located in the germ. Removal of the oil assists in protecting the finished food form oxidative rancidity. Sweet corn is never plant in the same field corn. The two types will cross pollinate readily with one another. 

Much field corn is used as feed for animals on the farm where it is grown, but far larger amounts are manufactured into mixed feeds by formula feed manufacturer feedlot operators and the like. It was field corn to feed the livestock. 

Whole kernels of filed corn are used in foods as the chief ingredient in masa and lye hominy. Field corn also generally used as a cereal grain in the forms of corn grits, corn meal or corn flour. Corn meal and flour are used to make corn bread, tortillas and tortilla chips. 
Field Corn

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