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Maize: Grain Structure, Composition, Milling, and Starch Characteristics

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Maize: Nutrition Dynamics and Novel Uses

Abstract

Maize is the third important food grain after wheat and rice, and its demand is increasing because of its increased use for biofuel production. Starch is the main component of maize, which is produced by wet milling process. Maize starch functionality varies with the starch structure and composition, which vary with genotypes and cultural practices. The average size of maize starch granules ranges between 1 and 7 μm and 15 and 20 μm, respectively, for small- and large-sized granules. Maize starches exhibit a typical A-type pattern, in which double helices comprising the crystallites are densely packed. Sugary maize starch has lower crystallinity, while waxy maize starch has greater crystallinity as compared to normal maize starches. The sugary maize starch has lower gelatinization temperature and enthalpy. The maize starch with long-branch chain length amylopectin and higher crystallinity has higher gelatinization temperature and enthalpy. The maize products (canned, frozen, and boiled sweet maize) have lower glycemic index (GI) than white rice and wheat flour bread. Waxy maize starch is more rapidly digested and have high GI than high-amylose starches. Thermal treatments such as autoclaving, baking, steam cooking, and parboiling processes affect starch digestibility and consequently the GI of maize-based products. Maize also contains various bioactive constituents, such as carotenoids, anthocyanins, and phenolic compounds, which vary with maize type. Maize has a higher antioxidant capacity compared to wheat, oat, and rice.

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Acknowledgment

Financial assistance by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, to Prof. Narpinder Singh is acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Narpinder Singh .

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Singh, N., Kaur, A., Shevkani, K. (2014). Maize: Grain Structure, Composition, Milling, and Starch Characteristics. In: Chaudhary, D., Kumar, S., Langyan, S. (eds) Maize: Nutrition Dynamics and Novel Uses. Springer, New Delhi. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-1623-0_5

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