7 Uses Of Maize In South Africa

Maize is one of the common cereals grown in South Africa. There are over 50 species of maize and they come in a variety of textures, sizes, and grain shapes. However, the three most cultivated types of maize are yellow, white, and red maize.

Maize is mostly used as food in South Africa, with surplus being either shipped to various other African states or sold on the livestock market.

Read on to discover other things that maize is used for in South Africa.

Uses Of Maize In South Africa

Human Consumption

Maize is mostly utilized and consumed as a vegetable such as corn, or mini-veggies. Additionally, it can be converted into polenta, a meal of maize or grits when dry milling, or into maize derivatives, like corn starch and dextrose, corn syrup, or corn oil in wet milling.

In this way, maize or derivatives of maize can be used in snack foods, such as corn chips, popcorn, and sweets.

In South Africa, white maize is processed and used for the production of maize meals. Maize meal that has most germs removed is called “unsifted”, moving up the scale as the extraction rate reduces the germs to form the “sifted”, “special” and “super” maize meal. South Africans generally prefer the super and special varieties, and that is why many of the larger millers have stopped making “unsifted” and “sifted” maize meals.

Production of Medicine

Most medications contain maize-related pharmaceutical actives (API). The starch extracted from maize helps medicines maintain their shape and is frequently used as a binder or in the coating of tablets. Additionally, cornstarch is utilized as an aid in the tablets’ disintegration after being swallowed. Since it is a safe, natural substance that is typically quite simple for humans to digest, cornstarch is a desirable ingredient for these applications.

Also, the vast majority of vitamin C that is sold and distributed commercially comes from maize. Maize is a desirable source of vitamin C to add to various products or to make vitamin C tablets because it is high in vitamin C (half a cup of corn contains roughly 33% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C).

Production of Textiles

Maize is widely used in the production of carpets and other textile products. This can be found in colorings or dyes as well as the production of textiles using petroleum-based materials. Since they are typically more environmentally friendly, products made from corn are frequently preferred to those made from petroleum in the production of textiles.

Yogurt, Sweets, and Foods

Maize is a common ingredient in yogurt and sweets. It is used mainly as a sweetener and this is also found in popular frozen food – ice cream. In addition to being a sweetener, maize also helps all these foods to achieve their glued state which makes them stick together.

Some baked foods, like cornbread, corn muffins, and bread, all contain maize as a key ingredient. Many cookies contain corn starch and corn flour, both of which are made from maize. Additionally made from maize are corn oil and popcorn. Maize is also used to make enchiladas, bake, and Indian pancakes. Maize is also used to make polenta, nacho chips, and corn chips. Additionally, corn is used to make margarine, peanut butter, and potato chips. Maize is also present in some chewing gum and cheese spreads.

Used In Adhesives Production

Glue and other adhesives contain cornmeal or cornstarch. Cornstarch, a substance used as an adhesive on envelopes, becomes sticky when moistened. Furthermore, corn germ—the substance left over after the oil has been extracted from the corn—is used to improve the adhesive properties of industrial glue. Since corn germ substitutes for some of the resin typically used in fabrication, many of these high-intensity glues can be produced at lower costs.

Most children’s crayons have their shape thanks to the addition of derivatives derived from corn. Dextrin, an organic compound derived from corn is used to make it easier to remove crayons from their molds. Additionally, corn products aid in the paper labels’ adhesion to crayons.

Used In Plastic

Plastics used to make notepad holders, screwdriver handles, luggage tags, and more are derived from maize products. Letter openers, ice scrapers, and travel mugs are also items made from the plastic derived from corn.

This plastic is technically made from fermented corn starch, but it can also be made from cassava or sugarcane starch. Even though the production method for this bioplastic isn’t yet perfect, it’s still a huge step in the right direction for the environment! What you should know about PLA is as follows.

Health Improvement

Corn contains about 20% of the daily recommended fiber intake, therefore it is healthy for bowel movements. It also helps in the treatment of many digestive issues, such as constipation and hemorrhoids, as well as the prevention of colon cancer.

The high vitamin B content of corn is beneficial for promoting growth. While Niacin can help prevent several issues like dementia and dermatitis, thiamine aids in the improvement of your body’s nerve and cognitive health. The high folic acid content of corn makes it advantageous for expectant mothers.

Vitamin E, a naturally occurring source of antioxidants, is abundant in corn and protects the body from a variety of diseases, allowing you to grow unhindered by illness.

Wrapping Up

Other daily products like toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, clothing dyes, and soaps contain maize products. It is estimated that 25% of grocery store items contain corn in some capacity which proves that there is wide use of maize in South Africa.

Corn may not always be listed on the ingredient list for food products but it is present in most edibles we consume daily. To make manufacturing more environmentally friendly, many petroleum-based production processes now include corn products outside of food.

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