Table of content A-Z

 

sweetcorn

 

Botanical name: Zea mays convar. saccharata


Zuckermais

 

Corn, or maize, was used earlier only as fodder. This feed crop that is still important today stems from Mexico, where it was planted as early as 3000 b.c. About 150 years ago, sweet corn developed as a mutation of feed corn.

Have you ever tried feed corn? Then you know that it doesn't taste particularly good. The sweet difference between the two varieties lies in the fact that the sugar in sweet corn is converted to starch only very slowly during the ripening process. In the USA sweet corn has long been considered a staple food. In Germany it has been appreciated only since the 1960s.


Availability


Sweet corn can be bought from July until December. The main area of cultivation is the USA. In Germany the amount produced is rather small; domestically grown sweet corn is sold chiefly from the middle of August to the end of October.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


The cobs of sweet corn are smaller than those of feed corn. They are about 20 cm long, densely covered with light-yellow kernels and covered with green leaves, known as the husk. Fresh corn cobs taste milky sweet. Meanwhile there are also super-sweet cultivars, in which the conversion of sugar to starch is even more delayed. This is an advantage for merchandisers, as it increases the marketing time span.


Ingredients


Relative to other types of vegetables, sweet corn is rich in energy and carbohydrates.

100 g contain:

Sweet corn, fresh
Sweet corn, cooked
Sweet corn, tinned
Energie (kcal)
89
89
76
Wasser (g)
76
75
78
Eiweiß (g)
3
3
3
Fett (g)
1
1
1
Stärke (g)
14
14
11
Kohlenhydrate (g)
16
16
13
Ballaststoffe (g)
3
3
3
Vitamin C (mg)
12
7
3
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
9
9
7
Folsäure (µg)
43
24
9
Kalium (mg)
300
250
175
Natrium (mg)
1
1
223
Calcium (mg)
6
7
10
Magnesium (mg)
48
48
38
Eisen (mg)
0,6
0,5
0,4



Harmful substances


Sweet corn contains very little nitrate, only 0–500 mg per kilogram.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


When corn is purchased the kernels should be golden yellow and shiny. The husk must look fresh and green. Put the ears of sweet corn in the refrigerator right after you buy them and use them on the same day if possible. The sugar content of the corn cob decreases continuously; by the sixth day following the harvest there is practically no sugar and therefore no sweet taste.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


It is possible to eat sweet corn kernels raw, but the cobs are normally eaten cooked, steamed or grilled, e.g., as a vegetable side dish, as a salad or with butter.

To prepare them remove the husks and cut off the ends of the cobs. Then rinse the cobs thoroughly under running water.

Experts recommend that corn not be cooked in salted water; it should be salted after it has cooked, as otherwise the kernel skins may well become hard.

Corn is well-suited for freezing. First it should be blanched and drained well. Frozen, it can be kept for about 8 months.

The food industry sells corn in jars or tins with water. Small, young mini-cobs are pickled in vinegar and eaten raw. Corn is also used for cornflakes or corn oil.

To make popcorn, a particular species is used (Zea mays convar. microsperma). Feed corn and sweet corn are not suitable for this.

 

 

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  With the website www.the-green-pantry.com the Fritz Terfloth Foundation of Münster offers consumers independent and competent information about plant foods and their health effects. All texts are subject to German copyright law. Information about the conditions for use of the texts by third parties can be found here.


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