Corn oil is the oil obtained from the seed of corn. Its primary use is cooking, where its high smoke point makes pure corn oil a valuable frying oil. It is also a key component in some kinds of margarine. Corn oil is usually less expensive than most other types of vegetable oils.
Origin of corn oil:
The wet milling method, developed by Thomas Kingsford in 1842, was significant in introducing commercially produced oil and starch from corn. Before the arrival of wet milling, starch was mainly made from wheat and potatoes, and corn was not used as a source for either starch or oil. Wet milling started many modifications in the uses of corn. By 1860, corn starch was produced in small plants all over the United States.
Composition of corn oil:
Corn oil is usually sold in an unrefined, intermediate-refined, or a fully refined nature. Its color is pale yellow, which blackens while frying. Corn oil has 52% linoleic acid, a crucial fatty acid not naturally produced by the human body. It has 31% oleic acid, 13% palmitic, 3% stearic, and 1% linolenic acid. Foods having low linolenic acid are excellent for their defense against rancidity. Corn oil also has 14.84% vitamin E per 100 grams; it’s vitamin E component also helps preserve it from oxidative rancidity.
Production of corn oil:
There are many methods of obtaining oil from the seeds. The germ is the small developing section of the seed, which turns into a new maize plant. These germs are full of nutrients and oils. The best oil having health advantages is cold-pressed oil. However, it has a lesser yield than the combination expeller and solvent method. The production of corn oil from corn germs has been commercialized for over a quarter of a century. From the time the determination of corn became an essential service in the hominy, starch, and glucose industries. The germ's nature was a crucial part of the economics of these methods. As the need for vegetable oils rose, it was beneficial to discharge the oil from the germ for both culinary and technical uses. In the last few years, when oil prices were high, corn oil production has grown one of the critical aspects of the corn-products industries. Expeller pressing: Usually, corn oil is expeller-pressed, then solvent-extracted using hexane or 2-methyl pentane. The most common method of making corn oil includes expeller pressing. Then we treat oil with the solvent. The solvent is steamed from the corn oil, retrieved, and re-used. After removal, the corn oil is then purified by degumming and alkali treatment, both kill phosphatides. Alkali treatment also removes free fatty acids and color. Final moves in refining involve winterization or the extraction of waxes, and deodorization by vapor distillation of the oil at 232–260 °C (450–500 °F) under a high vacuum. Some famous oil manufacturers produce crude, 100%-expeller-pressed corn oil. Cold pressing: There is also Natural Corn Oil, which is manufactured by cold pressing. A few manufacturers make 100 % pure crude corn oil, which is obtained using Cold Pressed Method. This is a costly process, and yield is meager than other corn oils, but it is natural and pure. This is a pricier product since it has a much less yield than the former method and a smaller market share. However, there is an increasing need for Organic Corn oil as well.
Uses of corn oil:
Due to its universal properties and high heat resistance, we use corn oil for many purposes:
- As a standard cooking oil, we use it for baking, roasting, and deep-fat frying.
- Its delicious taste and high vitamin elements are used for cold products such as salads, sauces, mayonnaises, and vinaigrettes.
- Corn oil has its high quantity of unsaturated fatty acids, which decreases blood cholesterol levels.
- Mainly we use corn oil for food and cosmetic objectives.
- Corn oil is a prime source of biodiesel. Biodiesel is generally made from soybeans, but as corn oil purifying technology advances, it will become a more vital source of biodiesel and a backup reservoir in large-scale soybean crop crashes.
- Other modern uses for corn oil involve soap, medicine, paint, rustproofing for metal coverings, inks, textiles, and pesticides.
- The pharmaceutical industry heavily uses corn oil.
- Besides several industrial applications, we use it for hair care and skin care.
Health benefits of corn oil:
Corn oil has many health benefits. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Healthy heart:
Corn oil is useful for sustaining heart health. It has a high quantity of linoleic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The daily diet should have a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as corn oil. This assists in reducing the LDL cholesterol level.
- Lowers cholesterol:
Corn oil can decrease blood cholesterol levels. It has phytosterols in a significant quantity. The sterol compounds are obtained from the plant sources and match the composition of cholesterol. The plant sterols can reduce the consumption of cholesterol. The study shows that using corn oil in the food helps to decrease cholesterol levels.
- Skin health:
We can use corn oil as a massage oil for skin. This improves skin functions due to the availability of Vitamin E and linoleic acid. It is used as a foundation oil for medicines, lip lotions, night oils, and creams. It enters the skin swiftly as it has 59% of linoleic acid.
- Maintains blood pressure:
The foods full of polyunsaturated fatty acids assist in decreasing high blood pressure in hypertension cases. It decreases the blood pressure level by 10%.
- Hair health:
Corn oil could be used as a warm oil therapy for around 1 or 2 times a week. This helps to heal underfed and dry hair. It polishes and conditions the hair.
Top 5 corn oil-producing countries:
Given below is the list of top five corn oil-producing countries:
Best corn oil brands:
Following corn oil brands are the best options for cooking, frying, and deep-frying:
- Corn Oil for Cooking by Mazola
- Corn Oil with High Smoke Point by Iberia
- Pure Corn Oil by Crisco
- Organic Virgin Corn Oil by H&B Oils Center Co
- Pure Corn Oil by Animed
Name: Samira H. Revised Date: 19-08-2020