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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Corn Oil

Author
item Moreau, Robert

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 2, 2002
Publication Date: December 2, 2002

Technical Abstract: Corn kernels contain about 4% oil, and almost all of this oil is in the "germ" portion of the kernel. Because corn kernels contain about 60-70% starch, a process called "wet milling" was developed to economically obtain this cornstarch. One of several byproducts of wet milling is the corn germ fraction (which contains 40-50% oil). Most corn oil is obtained by crushing gand extracting wet milled corn germ, and like "wheat germ oil," corn oil could more accurately be called "corn germ oil." The US produces 57% of the world's supply of corn oil. Corn oil's desirable properties include: its mild nutty flavor, its high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, its low levels of saturated fatty acids, its very low levels of linolenic acid, its high levels of unsaponifiables (including phytosterols and tocopherols), and its stability during frying. Although consumer focus has been shifting towards "high- monounsaturate"-oils (olive, canola, and NuSun sunflower oils), corn oil is still the second most popular vegetable oil in the US (soybean oil is the most popular), and the food industry currently relies on corn oil and corn oil margarine products.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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