Increasing interest in whole grains and high-fiber brans has opened the door for a broad range of corn and other grain ingredients for use in cereals, snacks and other fiber-enhanced foods. Corn is a key food in the diets of people in most parts of the world, and some say corn has advantages over other grains. Research is still in progress, showing corn’s potential antioxidant properties. The corn bran is the highest in natural fiber available from all of the grains, and it also leads the way in flavor and functionality.
Dry milled corn products provide an excellent material for expansion, structure and mouthfeel when extruded because of the controlled particle size and moisture content. The “viscosity controlled” corn flours also provide consistent water absorption in breading and batter applications.
Corn is processed into grits, meals and flours as well as whole-grain corn meal. Most of Bunge Milling’s milled products are produced from yellow dent corn, but they are also milled from white corn and, to a lesser extent, blue corn. The next trend is already on the radar, whether it is a new variation of low-fat corn meal or whole-grain products that include elevated phytochemicals and antioxidants.
During dry milling, corn goes through a series of sampling, testing, storage, cleaning and tempering before it is then degermed and milled to specification. “Degermed corn products are naturally low in fat, the bran is high in fiber and they contain no trans fats or cholesterol, in addition to being an ‘all natural’ product,” offers Rodney Perry, vice president, Bunge Milling.
The quality of the corn is important. A product can only be as good as the corn that goes into it. That is why it is important to be particular about the corn purchased. Buying directly from growers and testing each truckload for weight, moisture, stress cracks and foreign material ensures availability of the highest quality corn products.
Bunge also processes soybeans, wheat and canola for food ingredients. Bulgur wheat products are considered a whole grain and are available in several granulations—from cracked wheat to a fine meal. Additionally, there is a line of corn bran products with high levels of total dietary fiber, available in a variety of granulations.
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Bunge Milling, St. Louis, Mo.