Corn is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins and sugar as well as vitamins and minerals and no wonder people all over the world like to consume it in various forms. The entire corn plant has some purpose to serve for us humans. Corn also called maize can be consumed in its natural form with minimal processing or made into different types of end products using advanced processing means, machines and technology. Hence processing requirements for different types of corn products can range from minimal, like just cleaning or separating the seeds, to advanced requirements. Different end products of corn serve different purposes, the raw materials for producing these different types of end products, that is the natural corn or parts of the corn plant are also available in different varieties. In order to attain the desired end product it is important to select the right inputs or raw materials from a plethora of input varieties. This magnificent plant offers scope for a lot of permutations and combinations, variations and inventions and has a huge and differentiated product market due to its food value and varieties. As food consumers we are already familiar with the different types of corn foods like cornflakes, popcorn, corn wheat, sweet corn soup, baby corn preparations, corn flour and a host of other products, each corn food can have further sub variants, like popular sub variants of sweet corn include the standard, sugary extender, synergistic and augmented super sweet, each of these sub variants are available in different colors of yellow, white, bi color and multi-color. Knowledge of each of the variants can be useful for making different types of corn based recipes. For example the varieties with more sugar content can be used as natural sweetening agents instead of sugar or to add a sweet tinge to flavors, low sugar content varieties can be used for making recipes for people who want to avoid sugar and calories and for the diabetic. Besides being a human food, corn also serves other purposes like fodder food for cattle, in preparing wine based beverages, in several types of chemicals and as bio fuels.

Corn has been known to mankind since prehistoric times. Its origin is believed to be in Mesoamerica, mainly in Mexico. The ancient people of this region learnt to grow different varieties of this plant and even developed some early methods of processing, by 2500 B.C. The world started knowing about this wonderful plant through travelers and traders and slowly thereafter agriculture of corn was adopted first in Europe and then throughout the world. Corn naturally grew in different varieties due to differences in terrain and climate, humans further studied the plant and developed more varieties and hybrids and genetically modified variants. These variants were developed with advanced planting technology methods and were fortified with more food value. U.S.A –the largest producer of corn in the world grows 85% of the corn of the genetically modified type. These days, synergistic plant growing technology is being used to produce different types of corn grains in a single plant. Time of harvesting and some other factors also influence the corn variety, as for example to get baby corn the plant has to be harvested much early. These days many people are growing corn using organic methods. Organic methods rely more on preventive rather than cure based methods and stress much on the proper tending and care of plants, instead of inorganic pesticides and fertilizers natural alternatives are used. In some maize plants, the shoots accumulate a powerful antibiotic substance called DIMBOA which is a natural pest repeller. Other varieties of these plants which do not have this substance can be altered so as to have them through hybrid and genetic modifying plant growing techniques. Such knowledge of natural phenomenon is aggregated under organic farming methods. Corn can be grown in fields as well as in the garden. Organic farming methods are a favorite of the gardeners because they grow their plants with care and tend them like babies. Organic products have been found to be more healthy and tasteful than inorganic products which may contain harmful and toxic substances due to indiscriminate use of inorganic materials. Producers who require different varieties of corn for processing often prefer to have them grown organically through contract farming agreements. In this way they are able to assure the quality of the raw materials which ultimately affects the quality of their end products.