Corn Oil

Hauled out from the germ of corn, corn oil is very apt for frying food. In addition, sometimes this oil is also used for making margarine. Corn oil has industrial uses too, as it is used for making soaps, forms an ingredient in some types of ink, used in pesticides and also for making rust-proof surfaces. Moreover, this kind of oil is used in a number of pharmaceutical processes.

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When we say corn oil is hauled out of the germ of corn, it means this oil is extracted from the part of the seed that germinates into a new maize plant. In fact, these germs are loaded with oils and nutrients, which help the seedling to feed on soon after germination. Several processes are employed to haul out oils from the germs of seeds. Nonetheless, as far as our health is concerned, cold process of extracting oils is considered to be the best. When oil is extracted by means of the cold press process, it is dense and requires refining prior to its use in cooking. However, you can also use unrefined oil since it encloses additional phytochemicals that help to boost our health. Generally, extraction of corn oil from corn germs involves expeller processing. Subsequently, a solvent is used to treat the oil or make it more dilute. All fatty acids are removed from corn oil during this treatment process.

The final process involves steam distillation of the oil, which helps to remove all volatile organic compounds from it. However, this process also has a downside - it results in robbing the oil of various beneficial compounds. At the same time, it also causes the oil to be contaminated with the solvent, though insignificantly.

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Corn oil is considered very suitable for frying foods because it has a very high smoking point. Its resistance to smoking ensures that cooking with corn oil will not release smoke unless the temperature is extremely high. Similarly, unlike many other varieties of oils, corn oil is not prone to discolouring when it is used in cooking.

Aside from frying food, corn oil has many other culinary uses. For instance, often this variety of vegetable oil is in the form of salad oil and, at times, it is blended with other varieties of vegetable oils. Moreover, corn oil can also be a major ingredient in margarine and also a vital component of mayonnaise, butter blends and a number of salad types. Often this oil is used in a wide variety of prepared foods too. For instance, this vegetable oil can be a constituent of everything that may range from potato chips and French fries to frosting and baked goods.

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As mentioned above, corn oil is extracted from the germ of corn. The kernel of each corn is enclosed in a whitish-yellowish coating that is known as the external husk of the kernel. The germ of corn is located close to the kernel’s end and inside a starch-like substance known as the endosperm. In fact, this part of the kernel encloses maximum oil that is processed to extract corn oil. However, the endosperm of the corn seed also contains some amount of oil too.

Corn oil is extracted from the corn germ by means of a process known as wet milling. This process involves making the kernels softer and subsequently separating them. Once the germ is separated from the kernel, it is initially dried and then processed to haul out the oil. Using this process helps to obtain the maximum amount of oil. Subsequently, a solvent is used to extract the remaining oil from the corn germ. Eventually, the crude corn oil undergoes a refining process to make it suitable for bottling and marketing.

A number of steps are involved in this process, which include degumming or removal of the free fatty acids, getting rid of wax, lightening of the color of the oil as well as deodorization.

Health benefits

Our body requires both monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fats because of their beneficial actions on our health. These two varieties of beneficial fats are able to check inflammation as well as high levels of cholesterol. Unfortunately, these fats are not well balanced in most varieties of corn oil, especially in the refined variety of corn oil. Hence, use of this vegetable oil can help to lower high blood pressure and also balance the cholesterol levels to a certain extent. Therefore, it is advisable that you should use this oil in moderation in your cooking.

It has been established that omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6 fatty acids work to neutralize inflammation, especially when their intake is moderate. Using this vegetable oil sparingly can help to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches in addition to also skin inflammation.

Aside from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, other ingredients in corn oil, such as antioxidants like lutein and flavonoids can help to reduce the activity of the detrimental free radicals in our body. Lutein is especially able to protect the health of our eyes, thereby aid in putting off development of cataracts.

It is worth mentioning here that monounsaturated fats as well as polyunsaturated fats in addition to vitamin E and flavonoids all possess antioxidant properties that can help in easing oxidative stress all over your body. Provided corn oil is used sparingly, it can be helpful in putting off chronic ailments. At the same time, its use will make your skin look as well as feel younger.

It has been found that a number of compounds present in corn oil help to diminish allergic reactivity in our body, thereby putting of symptoms associated with asthma as well as rhinitis. While the topical application of corn oil is very rare, it can help to ease allergic reactions if applied directly to the skin. Irrespective of consuming corn oil in moderation via cooking or applying it directly onto the skin, it will help in preventing skin infections and, at the same time, alleviate conditions like eczema, skin blemishes, skin irritation and even psoriasis. Moreover, use of corn oil can help reducing wrinkles as well as other age spots on the skin. Nevertheless, you need to bear in mind that this vegetable oil is loaded with fats and, therefore, you should use it very sparingly when cooking. This is despite the fact that this oil helps to improve the appearance of your skin and also keeps it free from inflammation, irritation, blemishes, age spots and wrinkles.

Linoleic acid present in corn oil also plays a vital role in ensuring that our pancreas functions normally. When the pancreas fails to function properly, it results in poor insulin production. Moreover, a malfunctioning pancreas also prevents insulin from keeping the blood sugar levels stable. As a result, people become diabetic. This is a main reason why use of corn oil is healthy for the functioning of the pancreas and ensures its normal functioning. At the same time, linoleic acid in corn oil works to press the compounds that are responsible for inflammation as well as joint pains. Precisely speaking, corn oil, or for that matter any food that contains linoleic acid, can help in providing diseases associated with joint pains, such as rheumatism, or other conditions that lower the functioning of your joints. This is because linoleic acid helps to reduce inflammation by counteracting the compounds in the body that are responsible for joint pains and immovability of the joints.

Many factors affect the skin. These factors include transfer of oxygen via blood and cell regeneration. Linoleic acid present in corn oil can help to improve both these factors. Moreover, topical use of this oil can help to have a lighter skin.

When there is less omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, it causes the brain to experience less energy for its growth as well as development. It is worth mentioning here that omega-3 fatty acids are not only beneficial for children, but for adults too. In the case of an adult, omega-3 fatty acids are a potent nutrient that helps to nourish the brain and promote its growth and development. Moreover, they ensure that the functioning of the brain does not decrease drastically.

Aside from the brain, omega-3 fatty acids are also very useful for the health of our eyes. This nutrient will serve as an eye care as omega-3 fatty acids compose about 60% of our retina. Hence, consuming corn oil containing omega-3 fatty acids are hugely beneficial for the health of your eyes.

Our bones are made up of some vital elements and essential minerals, such as calcium. When the amount of calcium is less than needed, our bones become fragile and may fracture or even break easily. Similarly, deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids will cause the bones to lose their strength because calcium is present in omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, moderate intake of corn oil, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, is beneficial for the health of our bones as well.

In the fetus, omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for the formation of the heart and red blood cells (erythrocytes). Even in adults, omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in maintaining the health of the heart as well as the blood vessels. However, there is a slight difference. In the case of an adult, omega-3 fatty acids work to enhance the health of the heart and blood vessels. Since corn oil has rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, consuming this vegetable oil in moderation is beneficial for both the heart as well as the blood vessels.


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