Corn, including sweet corn, is produced in huge quantities across Malaysia. Many varieties of corn are grown for dried, fully mature seeds, which are eaten as a grain. However, sweet corn is collected before the seeds mature fully. This is the main reason why sweet corn must be eaten quickly after harvest before its sugar converts back into starch.
Some hybrids can retain their sweetness for longer periods.
Corn is high in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, magnesium, sugars, and potassium. Note that the edible parts of sweet corn are 75% water. Keep in mind that when you cook sweet corn, it reduces the amount of vitamin C but increases its quantity of ferulic acid, a powerful antioxidant.
In addition, corn is mostly composed of carbs like all cereal grains and provides a small amount of sugar. One of the lowest starch varieties is sweet corn. Sweet corn has a higher sugar content, mostly sucrose. The good news is that sweet corn is not a high-glycemic food, which means it does not cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar levels.
Corn is cultivated across Malaysia, especially sweet corn because of its lower cost of growing and shorter cultivation time. This popular plant consists of a single stem with leaves and ears attached. The height of the stems varies on the corn type and the environment. On average, you can expect a corn plant to grow 2.5 to 3 meters tall.
Note that corn grows best in full sun zones and in soil that is fertile, well-drained and rich in nutrients.
Types of Corn
Corn is one of the most versatile crops in the world. There are different types of corn, such as sweet, dent and flour, defined by their internal kernel structure and the quantity of starch present.
Different types of corn have various culinary uses. Here are some of the different types of corn you can find.
Popcorn is one of the oldest and most well-known types of corn. Note that the popcorn kernel has a hard, slightly translucent grain. One of the popcorn’s main characteristics is that when it is heated, the moisture turns to steam creating enough pressure for the kernel to explode.
Flour corn is formed mostly of soft starch. This type of corn can be ground into finer cornmeal. It can be eaten in its immature stage when steamed. Keep in mind that even though this type of corn is sweet it is not as sweet as other corn types. Usually, flour corn is harvested when fully ripe and dry and ground into cornmeal.
3. Sweet Corn
Sweet corn can be eaten on the cob in its early stage when it is still tender and juicy. One of the main characteristics of sweet corn is that sugar is not converted into starch. Note that sweet corn kernels wrinkle when they’re dry and mature. It comes in several varieties. Although there are a diversity of colours, the most usual is white, yellow or bi-colour.
This type is also known as field corn. Dent corn is usually grown for commercial purposes as it is used for animal feed, processed foods, and ethanol.
It is named this way because of how the kernel looks after it dries. The kernels contain a rigid form of starch at the sides and a soft centre. It is essential to know that the centre starches shrink as the grain dries, building a dent in the top.
How To Grow Corn
- Select an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight.
- Grow corn seeds in soil rich in organic matter and has a soil pH level between 5.5 and 7.0.
- Remove weeds and rocks before planting.
- Sow the corn seeds 2.5 to 5cm deep.
- Space the seeds to 30cm apart in a row. Make sure to set rows 60cm apart.
- Water thoroughly. Water the growing area until the top 15cm of the soil is moist.
- Make sure the soil doesn’t dry during the germination period. Continue to water.
- Corn usually sprouts within seven to fourteen days.
Growing Corn Plant Tips
Advisable to plough your land evenly after adding manure at 10 tonnes/Ha and compost. Important note to have at least 150 to 200 meters of distance between each cornfield or at least 20 days apart in terms of sowing new seed to obtain the best quality fruit for your chosen variety.
Recommended planting distance is 75 cm x 30 cm with one strong plant 3-4 cm into the hole. Cover holes with loose compost
Apply NPK 15:15:15 at a rate of 300 kg/Ha 5 cm from the plant on the 1st 3 days of planting. Then, apply UREA at a rate of 100 kg/Ha 10 cm from plant 18 to 20 days after planting, cover with soil right after.
At 35 to 40 days after planting, apply secondary fertilization with UREA at rate 100 kg/Ha 15 cm from the plant and cover with soil.
On its way to flowering, maintain weekly weeding and irrigation.
Sweet corn can be harvested around 68 to 70 days after planting. Look out for its hair turning from ivory to black, the tip of the cob is fully riped, glossy yellow corn filled its body.