Many people confuse maize and corn. They are both terms that refer to similar cereal grain. Corn is a common term used in North American English, while maize is a common term used in British English. The two words are sometimes used as alternatives. The names are in different applications.
Maize is often used for scientific or formal purposes. Corn is a preferred term while referring to food products that come from maize grains. It is important to note that corn and maize refer to one of the world's essential food crops.
The crop is either yellow or a white fruit that originates from a cob. A husk guards the fruit. The two words act as alternatives in different terminologies. They both bring out a similar meaning. Words evolve and bring out different meanings in different parts of the world.
Benefits of Corn
Corn is a grain that is part of the grass family. It was a result of a selective breeding process that happened several years ago. Today corn is a significant food crop in the world. This is because it is an energy-giving food and has a high percentage of carbohydrates.
Corn occupies a huge percentage of land compared to other food crops in the world. It also has several benefits. It is an essential ingredient in the making of insulation and adhesives. Corn also plays a role in making explosives, paints, and dyes, among other things.
In the pharmaceutical industry, corn has several uses. In the development of some medicines, they use corn. It also has high carbohydrates and nutrients. This is essential to prevent health issues such as diabetes and hypertension.
There are antioxidants found in corn that help promote eye health. Corn does not only play an essential role in human beings but also in animals. It can convert into flour or syrup, which is food for livestock.
Corn is also used in textile products. It is often found in textile production that uses petroleum. Also, it plays a role in the making of dish detergents, dyes, and toothpaste.
Corn is also an essential product in the manufacturing of yogurt. There is no corn yogurt, but there is an aspect of corn used in yogurts.
In automobiles, ethanol is important. Corn can convert to ethanol. It is also used to manufacture plastics.
Meanings of Corn
Corn has meanings that differ in various geographical locations. During the 17th century, corn referred to the main crop grown in England, which was wheat.
In Scotland, corn was another word for oats. In Germany, it meant rye.
In the U.S and Canada corn was maize. The words were alternatives for each other. They all referred to food products that came from grain. Corn is often used than maize in the areas.
In Germany and England today, corn is a term referring to a harvested fruit. Maize refers to crops almost in the harvesting stage.
The Origin of The Name Maize
Christopher Columbus made a stop to a neighboring Island to Northern Antilles. The Island was home to the indigenous Tahino people. The primary food crop was corn.
The Tahino people referred to it as 'mahiz', which was a term in their language, meaning a life source.
The Spanish carried samples of the grain. The name 'mahiz' later became Maize. Now the term maize is an approved scientific and international term used to refer to corn. It refers to a specific grain only. It cannot confuse with different food sources.
Maize farming began in Mexico. They were among the first people to domesticate maize. They realized the maize plant had good characteristics after doing selective breeding. That is where they first began growing it.
Corn can have different meanings depending on the context and location. Researches in institutes or agricultural groups often use maize. An example is FAO, which is an agricultural group that uses the word maize.
In modern language, the term maize is rarely used. This does not make it less important because it is still used as a scientific and international term. Unlike corn, it does not bring out several meanings.
What are The Differences between Corn and Maize?
The easiest way to differentiate the two words is according to how they refer to a maturing grain. Maize refers to the food crop, which is about to reach the harvesting period. A farmer will plant maize, harvest maize, and sell it to the market as corn.
The term maize can refer to a growing crop, while corn can refer to a finished product. This is the simplest method to distinguish between the two terms.
The second way to differentiate the two is every maize is corn but not every corn is maize. Based on a geographical location, corn can refer to something different. Maize refers to the same thing in all areas, which is corn.
In a scientific setting discussion about corn, the term maize is often used. This is because it is more precise. An example is a genetic study in which the term maize refers to corn.
Maize has a higher demand today because of the increase in population. It is a staple food in many developing countries. Few people know this, but maize has a part of its nutrients in eggs or beef and pork.
By consuming eggs, beef, and pork, a person is in an indirect manner eating corn.
Corn is a source of fun. There are corn mazes that farmers create to increase revenue. Also, they use them to attract people to visit them. By people visiting, they earn a lot of money through their corn farms.
Corn mazes are popular worldwide. They are common in seasons like autumn, the period around Halloween. In the U.K, corn mazes go by the name maize mazes, which is a hilarious fact.
Types of Maize
There are several types of Maize, and they all have a certain function.
Field corn is grown in the U.S and used as food for livestock. Some countries grow field corn for human consumption.
Sweet corn is the most common type of corn that has high human consumption in the United States. It has a genetic variation, which ensures it has more sugar and less starch. It is shorter in size compared to the field of corn.
Baby corn is also known as Asian cuisine. It is a variety of maize that produces a lot of small ears. The ears, while still young, are tender for consumption.
Uses of Maize
Maize flour or meal makes porridge or other meals in several cultures. An example is polenta, which is a thick porridge Italian dish. Maize meal is an alternative for wheat flour while making cornbread and any other baked products.
Masa is the primary ingredient in the preparation of tortillas and also, in other Mexican dishes.
Cornstarch comes from maize kernels. It contains a high percentage of starch, and it thickens soups.
Corn syrup serves as a better alternative to sugar in several products. An example is a soda and bread.
Corn in the U.S has a large market as food for livestock. It is sometimes referred to as fodder. Maize is also a huge part of commercial chicken feed and catfish.
Grits is a dish made by cooking white cornmeal. They are breakfast food.
Health Benefits of Maize
It has a higher protein percentage than vegetables. By consuming corn, a person gets enough proteins, and vegetarians can add it to their diet.
It is a source of fiber. This helps in the digestion process and weight control.
Differences between White Corn and Yellow Corn
Corn and Maize come in various colors, such as yellow and white. There are some multicolored corns, having both white and yellow colors. Color does not affect the taste of corn.
The yellow corn ears have more beta carotene. Beta carotene is an essential antioxidant that boosts your health.
Patients are told to take yellow corn to help boost their health.
Plain and Nixtamalized Corn Foods
In America today, several foods come from natural and nixtamalized corn. Plain corn is in polenta and cornmeal muffin mix. Nixtamalized corn is in hominy, posole, or grits. It can also be in tortilla chips.
Corn Diseases: Ways of Identifying and Controlling it
Corn experiences a lot of challenges because several diseases can affect it.
Corn smut is an unusual disease caused by fungus. There is no chemical control of it. The only way to prevent this is by practicing corn rotation.
Farmers should consider maize farming because it is a major food crop.