What Are The Different Types Of Corn?

Corn, scientifically known as Zea mays, is one of the most widely cultivated and consumed crops in the world. It has a rich history and is a staple food in many cultures.

Corn comes in various types, each with its own unique characteristics, taste, and usage. In this article, we will explore some of the different types of corn and their diverse applications.

Dent Corn

Also known as field corn or maize, dent corn is the most common type of corn and is primarily grown for animal feed and industrial purposes.

It gets its name from the distinctive dent found in the top of each kernel. Dent corn is typically yellow or white and has a high starch content. It is widely used in the production of cornmeal, corn syrup, ethanol, and other industrial products.

Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is the type of corn most commonly consumed by humans. It is characterized by its tender, juicy kernels and high sugar content, which gives it its sweet taste.

Unlike other types of corn, the sugar in sweet corn doesn’t convert into starch as it matures. Sweet corn is often eaten fresh off the cob, boiled, grilled, or used in salads, salsas, and other culinary preparations.


Popcorn is a unique type of corn that pops and expands when heated. It has a hard, moisture-resistant kernel with a small amount of water inside.

When the kernel is exposed to high heat, the water turns into steam, causing the kernel to explode and transform into the fluffy, edible snack we all know and love.

Popcorn comes in various shapes and sizes, and it is often seasoned with butter, salt, caramel, or other flavors.

Flint Corn

Flint corn, also called Indian corn or calico corn, is known for its vibrant and colorful kernels. It has a hard, glassy outer layer and a starchy endosperm.

Flint corn comes in an array of hues, including shades of red, blue, yellow, purple, and white. While primarily used for decoration during the fall season, it can also be ground into flour or used for making cornmeal.

Flour Corn

Flour corn, as the name suggests, is specifically grown for grinding into flour. It has a soft, starchy kernel that is easily milled into fine flour.

Flour corn is commonly used in making cornbread, tortillas, tamales, and other traditional corn-based products. It is typically yellow or white, and its flour has a slightly sweet flavor.

Waxy Corn

Waxy corn is a variety of corn that contains a high percentage of amylopectin, a type of starch that gives it a waxy appearance and texture.

It is primarily used in the food industry for its thickening properties and its ability to provide a glossy finish to products such as sauces, soups, and processed foods.

Pod Corn

Pod corn is a unique type of corn that forms husks or “pods” around each individual kernel. The kernels are often irregularly shaped and arranged in clusters resembling peas in a pod. Pod corn is mainly used for ornamental purposes due to its distinctive appearance.

In summary, these are just a few examples of the different types of corn available. Each type has its own distinct qualities and uses, ranging from culinary delights to industrial applications.

Corn continues to play a significant role in global agriculture, economy, and cuisine, making it an incredibly versatile and important crop worldwide.


Read Also: When Was Maize Introduced To Europe?