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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Proteins of the Kernel

Authors
item Lawton Jr, John
item Wilson, Curtis - RETIRED, ARS

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 28, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Corn is the largest and most important agricultural commodity in America. Corn is often considered only as a major source of calories, yet the sheer bulk of corn consumed makes it essential to consider the protein supplied with the calories. The last quarter of a century has seen a burgeoning interest in the biochemistry of corn proteins. New protein identification and separation methods of corn have uncovered a wealth of new information about corn proteins. This review attempts to bring together the results of traditional biochemistry with newer techniques of protein identification.

Technical Abstract: Corn is often considered only as a major source of calories, mostly derived from its starch content, yet the sheer bulk of corn consumed either as food or feed makes it essential to consider the protein supplied with the calories. This review attempts to bring the results of traditional biochemistry, exemplified by Osborne's classification of proteins based on solubility, with newer techniques of protein identification of gel electrophoresis, HPLC, and recombinant DNA. It has become obvious that the Osborne fractions are composed of mixtures of proteins and that the dividing lines are not as sharp as once assumed. The alcohol soluble Osborne fraction (prolamin) is too restrictive a classification and does not classify the proteins of corn protein bodies together though these proteins are related structurally. The Osborne fractions, however, are firmly rooted in our ideas about corn protein and thereby provides a framework to start our examination of corn proteins.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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