Corn on the cob, corn syrup, corn flakes, candy corn…. Wait, strike that last one. But corn is widely found as a familiar ingredient in our food!
What you MAY NOT KNOW is that corn is an essential component of other products. Take a look at this list….
Surprise! Corn is a soft and absorbent material. It can make toilet paper sheets softer and more comfortable to use. The corn kernels are ground up and mixed into the paper. Cornstarch can also be used to bind the materials together.
Corn’s absorbent properties come in handy when used to make diapers. Cornstarch is used as a binding agent to keep the diaper held together. A corn-based gel is also often used due to its ability to absorb many times its own weight.
Corn in your car? Yes! Corn can be fashioned into a ceramic-like material that insulates the spark plug and prevents it from overheating.
HAND SOAP AND SANITIZER
Both soap and hand sanitizer use different compounds from corn including ethanol or citric acid. Depending on how it is used, corn can serve as an emollient (softening the skin), as a gentle abrasive, a thickening agent, and even for fragrances.
And to finish this list with a bang, corn is also a key ingredient in fireworks. They need to combust at the right moment and burn evenly. The dextrin in cornstarch aids in this process by keeping the materials bound together until it’s time for the big finale.
New research will continue to grow corn’s versatility. Whether you’re enjoying an afternoon snack or taking care of chores around the house, corn plays a big part in creating a useful product.
(article courtesy of the Nebraska Corn Board)