Food Structure


Kernels from a pair of isogenic lines (with regard to hardness) and two commercial hybrids of dent corn (that varied in hardness) were ground on the Stenvert Hardness Tester and separated by sieving into coarse (>0.710 mm) and fine (<0.500 mm) fractions. The corn samples differed little in oil contents. The coarse particles from the hard corn samples were angular and sharp-edged; those from the soft corn samples were rounded. The yield of coarse particles was higher and they contained less oil in hard than in soft corn. Fine particles from all four corn samples had higher oil content than the coarse particles. Visual examination, observation at low magnification under a light microscope, and use of a scanning electron microscope revealed consistent differences in the extent and mode of corn kernel breakdown during grinding. Particles in the coarse fraction from hard kernels were to a large extent intact with little exposure of their contents. In the soft kernels, particles in the coarse fraction were broken extensively and their contents exposed. It is postulated that differences in the extent of mechanical breakdown and oil content are related to differences in shelf life of corn grits.

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