Origin: Purple maize, a variety of zea mays, is a corn originating from the Andes region of South America.
Function & characteristics: The pigment giving purple corn its vivid color derives from an exceptional content of a class of polyphenols called anthocyanins. Cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, also called chrysanthemin, is the major anthocyanin in purple corn kernels, comprising about 73% of all anthocyanins present. Other anthocyanins identified are pelargonidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside, peonidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside, cyanidin 3-O-β-D-(6-malonyl-glucoside), pelargonidin 3-O-β-D-(6-malonyl-glucoside) and peonidin 3-O-β-D-(6-malonyl-glucoside). Similar results for anthocyanin content were found from a variety of purple corn grown in China.
Products: The kernels of purple corn are soaked in hot water by people of the Andes to yield a deep purple color for foods and beverages.Common in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, purple corn is used in chicha morada, a drink made by boiling ground purple corn kernels with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar, and in mazamorra, a type of pudding. One of the most popular purple corn food uses is the “Api”, a smoothie served hot and sometimes called “Inca’s dessert”.
Daily intake:Up to 1 mg/kg body weight
Dietary restrictions: None
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