Corn is most often thought of as a food. Perhaps if you’re an avid cook, you might even think of cornstarch or corn-based food additives, or perhaps those who follow the oil and gas news might think of ethanol. However, recent years have seen this dinner staple’s uses expand greatly. In fact, the bulk of corn that’s produced today does not go to food production. You’re probably using corn in ways that you don’t even realize as you go about your daily business. The countless uses of corn have prompted some interest in corn as an investable asset, and prices have surged in recent years as demand has increased.

How Corn Is Used In Plastic

Plastics aren’t entirely made up of synthetic substances – in fact, corn-based plastics have become very popular in recent years as companies strive to find methods for reducing the environmental impact of plastics. Corn-based plastics use up to 68% less fossil fuels in production than traditional plastics, and are estimated to emit 55% less greenhouse gases. Additionally, many of these plastics are also biodegradable. You’ll find corn plastics used in food containers and plastic food packaging, disposable dishware and gift cards.

Yes, Corn Is In Your Batteries

Ethanol isn’t the only form of energy derived from corn. Some batteries also contain corn derivatives found in the form of “bioelectricity.” In batteries, cornstarch is often used as an electrical conductor.

It Even Makes You Smell Better

Cornstarch is a common ingredient in many cosmetic and hygiene items, including deodorants. Many natural or homemade deodorants include cornstarch as an ingredient because of its absorbent nature; however, many gel deodorants also contain a corn derivative in the form of denatured alcohol, also known as ethanol. Similarly, hand sanitizer also typically contains ethanol.

Or Eases The Common Cold

Corn syrup is one of the main ingredients in cough drops. It provides the sweetness that is found in most cough drops, and also helps provide the shape and candy-like texture of cough drops. Corn syrup is used in this capacity because traditional sugars often form crystals or dust-like particles while blending. Luckily, corn syrup doesn’t share this undesirable trait in the manufacturing process.

Where Would Babies Be Without Corn?

You can thank the absorbent nature of cornstarch for its assistance in the production of diapers. Though the absorbent layer found in modern-day diapers is typically made with acrylic acid, which is a component of ethylene – another derivative of corn, you’ll also find traditional cornstarch used in diaper production. Baby powder, an item which is often used along with diapers, also typically contains cornstarch thanks to its absorbent nature.

Corn Helps Matches Burn Bright

Corn, and more specifically cornstarch, is a common ingredient used in the production of matchsticks. Additionally, matchsticks that are formed on paper or cardstock may include corn products in the paper itself to increase the rigidity. Additionally, you can also purchase pellet stoves that burn corn-based pellets to heat your home.