From Crop To Medication

Many medications and vitamins contain corn products, particularly cornstarch. The starch is often used as a binder or within the tablet’s coating, and helps drugs to hold their form. Additionally, cornstarch is used as an agent that helps the tablets to disintegrate after they are ingested. Cornstarch is an appealing ingredient for these uses because it is a safe and natural product that’s generally quite easily digested by humans.

Corn Is Beneath Our Feet

Carpets and other textile products now make wide use of corn in their production. This is often found in petroleum-based textile production, but can also be found in colorings or dyes. Corn-based products are often preferable to petroleum-based products in textile production because they are typically better for the environment.

Vitamin C(orn)

The vast majority of commercially distributed vitamin C is derived from corn. Corn is rich with vitamin C (half a cup of corn contains roughly 33% of your suggested daily intake of vitamin C), which makes it an appealing source for adding vitamin C to enrich various products, or in the production of vitamin C tablets.

Corn For Crayons

Those colorful crayons that children play with can also attribute their form to the inclusion of corn-based derivatives. Dextrin, which is made from cornstarch, is used to assist with removing crayons easily from their molds. Corn products also help the paper labels to adhere to crayons.

Yogurt And Corn

Though perhaps you’re not likely to see corn-flavored yogurt lining the grocery store shelves any time soon, you may be surprised to learn that corn is an ingredient in many types of yogurt. You might find corn syrup used as a sweetener in yogurt, and cornstarch is often used to help get the right consistency in both yogurt and ice cream.

Corn Holds Our World Together

Glue and other adhesives commonly contain cornmeal or cornstarch. The adhesives used on envelopes include cornstarch, which becomes sticky once moistened. Additionally, corn germ, which is the leftover substance after the oil has been removed from corn, is used to increase the adhesive qualities of industrial glue. The use of corn germ allows many of these high-intensity glues to be less expensive, as corn germ replaces some of the resin that’s typically used in fabrication.

A Sweet Tooth For Corn

You’ll generally find corn used in candies and other confectionary items in two ways. First, corn syrup is often used as a sweetener in beverages, candies and other sweets. Also, candies that are formed in molds often contain cornstarch in order to get the fine details to hold their shape – think of gummy candies that have fine details, like character shapes or imprinted logos. Additionally, corn products are used to give some types of candies a chewy texture. You’ll find corn used in virtually any type of sweetened product.

The Bottom Line

Toothpaste, dish detergent, paper, clothing dyes, explosives and soaps; there is a vast list of products that contain corn products. In fact, it is estimated that one quarter of items found in a grocery store contain corn in some form. You may not always see it on the ingredient listing for food products, but if you see such ingredients as xanthan gum, polyols (artificial sweeteners) or fructose, there’s a chance corn is hiding away somewhere in those food items. Outside of foods, many petroleum-based production processes are now including corn products in an effort to make manufacturing more environmentally friendly. So, whether you’re for it or against it, the wide range of uses for corn has expanded well beyond the usual suspects. In fact, it’s become rather hard to imagine our world without this diverse and dependable staple.