There’s so much to love about corn! Our favorite – sweet corn – is only one variety and eating off the cob is just one use.

Every kernel of corn contains starch, fiber, protein, and oil. Each of those components can be processed in different ways to produce a wide variety of products. In fact, your average grocery store contains 4,000 items that list corn on the label!

So, what else can you get from corn?

  1. Through dry-milling, corn is ground into flour and ferments into ethanol.
  2. Other vegetables. At the store, foods like carrots, broccoli, and celery contain ICEIN, a corn-based “processing aid” that helps make them look fresh.
  3. Hand soap. Most have about 25% of their ingredients that are derived from corn.
  4. Chelation is made with cornstarch and prevents mold on your home’s drywall.
  5. In this popular cleaner, you’ll find several ingredients from corn including 2-Hexoxyethonol, acetic acid, ethanolamine, and artificial colors.
  6. Salad dressing, soft drinks, and yogurt. These are just some of the foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Cola also gets its caramel coloring from corn.
  7. Chewing gum typically contains high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, and Maltitol – all three of which come from corn.
  8. Citric acid is derived from corn and is often found in shampoo.
  9. Yes, envelopes. The adhesive uses nitrocellulose glue, from corn.
  10. Most adhesives. From wood glue to Elmer’s, they contain corn.
  11. Peanut butter. Typically, the second ingredient listed (after peanuts) is corn syrup, giving it a sweet flavor.
  12. In batteries, cornstarch is often used as an electrical conductor.
  13. Dexrin, made from cornstarch, is used to remove crayons easily from their molds.
  14. While eating sweet corn this 4th of July, you may also take a moment to appreciate that your fireworks show wouldn’t happen without corn.
  15. Many paints contain cornstarch. You can also make your own edible finger paint at home with just a little cornstarch, water, sugar, salt, and coloring.
  16. Cornstarch is common in the making of matchsticks because it’s more rigid than wood.
  17. Many of today’s craft brewers use maize to lighten the body, color, and flavor.
  18. Paving Bricks. Calcium Stearate comes from corn and helps in waterproofing.
  19. If your baby’s diapers advertise themselves as “eco-friendly”, they likely contain cornstarch to help keep them dry.
  20. Most medication is usually coated in cellulose microcrystalline, which is another product derived from corn.
  21. Wax paper. The coating is made from Zein.
  22. Most perfumes contain grain alcohol, with corn being the most common in the United States.
  23. What makes varnish shiny? Well, it’s from a modified corn oil called alkyd.
  24. Corn gives toothpaste the texture that makes it, toothpaste.
  25. Mouthwash contains sorbitol and sodium saccharin, both derived from corn.
  26. Makeup. “Zea Mays” is actually corn’s binomial name and is probably on the ingredients list in your blush, lipstick, and eye shadow.
  27. Fortified milk. It contains vitamin D from corn.


What a list! What item was the biggest surprise to you?



12 Surprising Products That Contain Corn

Corn: It’s Everything

10 Surprising, Everyday Items Made with Corn