Corn for Grain
Technical
Insight 10

WHAT IS WAXY CORN?

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Waxy corn is a term used to describe a particular type of corn grain. Originally discovered in China, but not grown in large quantities until World War II when processors needed a replacement for tapioca maize, it is a naturally occurring genetic mutation.

Normal field corn contains a combination of 2 types of starch:

  • Approximately 70% amylopectin starch, which is a highly branched molecule
  • Approximately 30% amylose starch, which is a linear molecule.

In waxy corn, the starch consists of 100% amylopectin starch.

The starch is extracted by the wet milling industry and the particular properties of the starch (including easy to gelatinise) are utilised in a wide range of products including:

  • Thickening fruit pies
  • Freeze-thaw stability of frozen products
  • Smoothness and creaminess of canned food and dairy products
  • Production of maltodextrins
  • Adhesives for bottle labels
  • Gummed tape and envelope adhesives

Waxy corn is usually grown under contract. Being a recessive gene (hence required on both sides of the pedigree) it needs to be grown in isolation from normal corn. Check with the end-user regarding time and/or distance isolation requirements.

Feeding studies have also shown a positive increase in feed conversion efficiency in dairy cattle, beef cattle and lambs, however there has been no widespread adoption by the intensive animal industries.

DuPont Pioneer Australia has a number of waxy hybrids suitable for the Australian market. For more information contact Glenn Tankard from Ingredion ANZ Pty Ltd.
t: +617 46301181 m: +614 09751585
e: glenn.tankard@ingredion.com w: ingredion.com/apac


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Revised: March 2017