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Sweet Corn

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sweetcorn

(indian corn, sweetcorn, sugar corn, pole corn,corn) is a variety of maize with a high sugar content and prepared as a vegetable. Sweet corn is the result of a naturally-occurring recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel. Unlike field corn varieties, which are harvested when the kernels are dry and mature (dent stage), sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar into starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen before the kernels become tough and starchy.

Sweet corn occurs as a spontaneous mutation in field corn and was grown by several Native American tribes.

The fruit of the sweet corn plant is the corn kernel, a type of fruit called a caryopsis. The ear is a collection of kernels on the cob. Because corn is a monocot, there is always an even number of rows of kernels. The ear is covered by tightly wrapped leaves called the husk. Silk is the name for the styles of the pistillate flowers, which emerge from the husk. The husk and silk are removed by hand, before boiling but not before roasting, in a process called husking or shucking.

Cooked sweet corn has significant antioxidant activity, which has been suggested to reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer, although this has not been definitively proven in practice.

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