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Characteristics and uses of flint corn

Updated: Aug 16, 2021

The fint corn is a kind of corn that is distinguished from the others by having a shinier and harder appearance. Its shape is smaller and rounded. Its cultivation is relevant in several countries such as the USA and Mexico.

The classification of corn grains is carried out according to the external appearance and internal structure of the grain. Different species have different proportions of soft and hard endosperm.

Flint corn characteristics

Flint corn is known for its tough outer layer that protects the small, soft endosperm within the kernel. Its name flint is due to the fact that the outer layer is as hard as flint. Visually it differs from serrated corn because it does not have a dent in the upper part, having a more rounded appearance.

Its appearance is shiny like glassy appearance. When exposed to heat it may burst but it usually opens. This tough exterior protects it from pests such as insects and rodents.

It also has little humidity inside, so it is more resistant to freezing. A curiosity of this variety is that its grains can be of various colors, from white to black it is multicolored, going from white to black, which is why it is used for ornamentation, there is that it is known as ornamental corn or Indian corn.

History of flint corn

The flint corn plant grows wild in Central America, thousands of years ago it was domesticated so that its ears are larger, becoming an important contribution to the diet of the natives of that area. European explorers brought corn to their continent, making corn known throughout the world.

Uses of flint corn

Due to its beautiful multicolored appearance, it is often used to decorate offerings or presentations of food dishes. However, the greatest use of this variety of corn consists in feeding humans and animals, but not directly. Given the hardness and thickness of its outer layer, this species is used to make coarse corn flour, such as semolina, polenta, and gruel. Roasted and ground is also used to make pinole. The result of cooking this flour has a starchy and rubbery texture. A very popular variant of flint corn known throughout the world is pop corn.

The properties and benefits of this species of corn are increasingly being used. Currently they are incorporated in the production of breakfast cereals or animal feed, due to their important contribution of proteins.

In poultry, for example, it is part of the basic diet in both chicken rearing and egg production. It is also used as a high-quality feed grain in the dairy, livestock and pig farming industries.

Grade 1 commercial grade colored flint corn is used as a raw material for various products. The basic process consists of dry grinding, conditioning, wetting, germination and refining.

The products obtained from dry grinding based on semi-humid germination are:

Pieces of endosperm

This chop can be thick, medium or fine, it is called Hominy Gritz and is used for flakes and breakfast cereals.


According to the fat and size it is classified into semolina for the manufacture of beers. Another use of these semolina are snacks or food products such as polenta or semolina enriched with vitamins and minerals.


When the granulometry is less than 400 microns, it is used for fine corn flour for cookies, infants or pasta.


Crude oil is extracted from the germ of this variety of corn so that after its refinement it is incorporated into by-products as a factor of adding high calories.


The bran of this corn is used for cookies, snacks and other baked goods.

Flour is also generated for animal feed, being incorporated into the production of balanced foods.

New uses

Harnessing the benefits of corn has made tremendous progress in recent years. One of them is the production of biofuels, such as ethanol. Another new use for corn is the production of biodegradable paper and plastics from corn starch.

They are more environmentally friendly than those based on petroleum and are very useful for the production of quick-drying fabrics for athletes, cell phone and computer cases, CDs, carpets and food packaging.

Flint corn in bird feeding

The largest proportion of oil, proteins, lipids, pigments, vitamins and minerals is concentrated in the embryo of the corn kernel. That is why it is used as a source of energy for birds.

Cornstarch has high digestibility in birds and the objective of its incorporation in diets is to maintain healthy metabolic activities. While fats are used in poultry diets as a source of energy and fatty acids. The fatty acid profile of the oil used in poultry diets determines important characteristics in the final composition of products for human consumption.

For example, an increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet of layers, such as linoleic acid, determines an increase in the size of the eggs, as well as a higher concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega 6 and Omega 3.

Protein, on the other hand, is used more for the production of meat and eggs. As it is vegetable protein, the birds will be free from potential diseases such as salmonella or encephalopathy.

Another important nutrient in corn is xanthophyll. The presence of this pigment in poultry diets aims to increase the pigmentation of meat and mainly the yolk of eggs.

Where to buy flint corn

In SpringHaus you can buy quality cracked flint corn for animal consumption. It exports all over the world from its two points of sale in the US and Argentina. Within the variety of corn for human consumption is popcorn.

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