Sweet corn and regular corn (or field corn) may be closely related, but in reality are very different. Sweet corn and regular corn both differ in their taste and texture and are being used for entirely different purposes. Here is a guide to help you differentiate between sweet corn and regular corn:
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SWEET CORN AND REGULAR CORN:
- In United States, mainly two types of corn are available. Regular corn (or field corn) is by far the most commonly grown corn, with 99% of area under regular corn production.
- Regular corn is harvested when the kernels are dry and fully mature, whereas sweet corn is picked when immature.
- According to the statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 95.4 million planted acres of land have been under regular corn production, whereas 6,28,000 planted acres is under sweet corn production. Annually, 13.9 billion bushels of regular corn and 161 million bushels of sweet corn are produced. While sweet corn production amounts to 1.2 billion dollars annually, regular corn production reaches to 65 billion dollars in a year.
- One of the largest differences between regular corn and sweet corn is how they are used. Regular corn has variety of uses apart from human consumption. According to researchers at Michigan State University, both kinds of corn are valuable in different ways, but each is harvested at different times to maximize their price.
- According to the 2014 statistics of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 36% of the field corn supply in United States is used for feeding livestock such as poultry, beef, and pork. 26% is directly used in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry for the production of important chemicals like ethanol. 10% of total corn production is exported to other countries such as Japan, Korea, Egypt, Taiwan, and Mexico. 9% of the remaining production is used as a food source and in other food industries, it is mainly used for human consumption. Hundreds of products are obtained from regular corn such as high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil, and corn cereal.
- Sweet corn, on the other hand, is purchased in frozen, canned, or fresh form and only for consumption. According to the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, sweet corn is primarily eaten on the cob. However, it is now used as a vegetable in various dishes and contains essential nutrients that keep us heart healthy.
- When it comes to taste, sweet corn is sweeter than regular or field corn because it contains a higher percentage of natural sugars.
- The National Corn Growers Association has reported that regular corn only contains 4% natural sugar, whereas sweet corn contains 10% natural sugar, the highest amount of sugar found in any corn variety yet. Almost 50% of these natural sugars can be converted into starch by enzymatic degradation in 24 hours, making it best for consumption when freshly picked.
Regular corn and sweet corn differ a lot on the basis of their production, taste, and the purposes they are used for. By identifying these differences, you can utilize regular corn and sweet corn in a more beneficial way.