• Katie Floyd

What Is Purple Corn and What Benefits Can It Offer Us?

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Purple corn is an ingredient becoming more popular in the health food industry. Purple corn (Zea mays L.) is shown to be high in anthocyanins. Both in vitro and in vivo studies have claimed health benefits associated with the intake of foods high in anthocyanins. Some of these health benefit claims include anti-oxidation, glycemic (blood sugar) regulation, neuroprotection, lipid-profile (cholesterol) regulation, body weight control, anticancer, and more.

This review summarizes the chemical composition of the anthocyanins in purple corn. (We surmised that the word “cereals” in this article is a synonym for grains.) There is a great deal of diversity among purple corn plants including different pigmented kernels, as well as a range of different anthocyanin compounds. One study showed at least eight different anthocyanin compounds present in different purple corn samples, with the major anthocyanins being cyanidin 3-glucoside, peonidin 3-glucoside, and pelargonidin 3-glucoside.

There was also a range of health benefits associated with the intake of anthocyanins mentioned in the summary. They include high antioxidant activity, glycemic regulation, anticancer and cytoprotective effects, and the relief of metabolic syndrome. One such study from the summary showed the highest antioxidant activity being correlated with the highest concentration of anthocyanins in the kernels and increased with the degree of ripening. Darker kernels seemed to produce higher antioxidant levels. Another group of studies focused on anthocyanin-rich blue maize extracts and their effects on glycemic regulation, anticancer/cytoprotective effects, and metabolic syndrome.

The summary concluded that the anthocyanin content present in purple corn (from a number of varieties) is notably high based on an assortment of analytical methods used during numerous studies.

Read the full review here: https://journals.usamvcluj.ro/index.php/hamei/article/view/13584/0

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