Sweet Corn vs Field Corn: Difference and Comparison

Corn referred to as maize, is a grain that is farmed all over the world. It is supposed to be a cereal grain that was initially grown 10,000 years ago by Indigenous peoples in Southern Mexico.

Corn is the world’s third-largest crop, trailing only wheat and rice. Corn is used for a variety of purposes, including human nutrition, ethanol generation, livestock feed, and more.

Corn comes in two varieties: sweet corn and field corn. Many people mistakenly believe that sweet corn and field corn are interchangeable, yet they are not.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sweet corn is sweeter and more tender than field corn due to its higher sugar content.
  2. Field corn is primarily used for livestock feed and industrial purposes, whereas humans consume sweet corn.
  3. Sweet corn has a shorter growing season and is harvested earlier than field corn.

Sweet Corn vs Field Corn

Sweet corn is the type of corn that humans eat. It is cooked and eaten as a side dish or added to salads and other recipes. Field corn, also known as dent corn, is the type of corn that is grown for animal feed, ethanol production, beverage production, and other industrial uses.

Sweet Corn vs Field Corn

A naturally existing recessive mutation in the gene causes sweet corn to be generated. Because the sugar in the endosperm of the crop seed is converted to starch, this mutation is responsible for the sweetness of sweet corn.

The endosperm is the tissue that forms within the seed as a result of double fertilization.

In North America, field corn is also known as “cow corn” or “maize.” They ate the large yellow, damaged crop that was gathered as it dried. It is consumed by humans because it does not have a sweet taste.

They are planted for ethanol production, livestock fodder, and a variety of other food products.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSweet CornField Corn
Use It is produced for human consumption.It is produced for livestock fodder and industrial uses.
Harvesting PeriodIt is harvested at the milky stage when immature.It is harvested after getting fully mature.
Crop HeightThe height of the sweet corn plant is about six inches.The height of the field corn plant is about 144 inches.
FlavorIt is tender from the outside and juicy from the inside after cooking.On the outside, it’s hard, but on the inside, it’s starchy.
StorageIt cannot be stored for a long time.It can be stored for a long time.

What is Sweet Corn?

Sugar corn and pole corn are some of the other names for sweet corn. They are formed as a result of a mutation in the recessive gene of field corn that is responsible for the sweetness of sweet corn due to sugar conversion to starch.

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Humans consume them by boiling, roasting, and baking them due to their sweet flavor.

Sweet corn is collected when it is immature, which is known as the “milky stage.” Instead of being utilized as a grain, immature sweet corn is used as a vegetable.

The conversion of the sugar into starch is due to the process of maturation. It must be consumed fresh, canned, or frozen because it cannot be stored for lengthy periods of time without becoming tough and starchy, resulting in a bland product.

The mutant field corn was initially grown in the Native American tribes. Following its production, it became a popular food in places of the United States like the southern region and central region.

It offers various health benefits, such as increasing the level of ferulic acid, which has anti-cancer qualities and helps prevent dangerous malignant diseases.

There has been a lot of research into the production of genetically modified sweet corn for commercial growers. These genetically engineered sweet corns have the ability to withstand insects and herbicides.

Only large-scale producers are allowed to produce genetically modified sweet corn, according to the approved protocol. It is not obtainable for home and small-scale farmers.

sweet corn 1

What is Field Corn?

Dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, soft corn, blue corn, and waxy corn are all types of field corn. They are picked after they are fully grown and the cob has been shelled.I

t can even be preserved for a prolonged period in mills, trenches, containers, or grain “flats.”

Field corn has a variety of large-scale applications, including cattle fodder, fuel production, and more. Corn flour, cornmeal, cornbread, cold breakfast corn, and a variety of other cereal goods are made with corn.

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Corn starch, corn oil, corn syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup are just a few of the products made from field corn.

They’re used to make alcohol, corn whiskey, adhesives, polymers, gels, and starch thickeners, among other things. Field corn is mostly used for industrial purposes, although it can also be ingested by humans without commercial pre-processing.

The endosperm is the most eaten region of the maize kernel.

Organic compounds are separated from carbohydrate molecules, which are employed in a variety of products. Among the organic substances used are citric acid, lactic acid, glucose, fructose, and ethanol.

sweet corn

Main Differences Between Sweet Corn and Field Corn

  1. Sweet corn is mostly cultivated for human consumption, although field corn is grown for ethanol production, livestock feeding, manufacturing, corn syrup, corn starch, and a variety of other items.
  2. Sweet corn is harvested when it is young, when the kernel is sweet, delicate, and easier to eat, whereas field corn is harvested when the kernel is fully mature, hard, and dry.
  3. Sweet corn kernels are tender outside but juicy on the inside when cooked. On the other hand, filled corn is hard outside but starchy on the inside.
  4. Sweet corn plants do not grow much taller, but field corn plants grow taller and have entire leaves.
  5. Because sweet corn cannot be stored for lengthy periods of time, it must be consumed immediately. On the other hand, field corn can be preserved for a significant period of time without rotting.
Difference Between Sweet Corn and Field Corn
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880997001023
  2. https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.2135/cropsci1996.0011183X003600060016x
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00192284

Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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