New research published in October’s issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveals significant health benefits in milled yellow corn products, such as corn meal, grits and corn flour.
New research published in October's issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reveals significant health benefits in milled yellow corn products, such as corn meal, grits and corn flour. The study, authored by Mario Ferruzzi, Ph.D., associate professor, department of food science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., demonstrates milled yellow corn products are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids, such as lutein. Carotenoids are yellow and orange plant pigments known for their association in the prevention of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration.
Additionally, carotenoid levels in milled corn products can be more than 50 percent bioaccessible, or available for absorption after digestion. The process of milling corn products makes key vitamins and nutrients more easily bioavailable than they would be from many other foods.
“The bioaccessibility of carotenoids from milled corn products is as high if not higher than many other foods, such as spinach, carrots and tomatoes, which are well-known for their high levels of carotenoid antioxidants,” Ferruzzi explained.
Though vegetables remain an important and rich source of carotenoids, this study demonstrates that milled corn products provide essential nutrients as well, noted Judi Adams, M.S., R.D., president, Grain Foods Foundation, Ridgway, Colo.