Maize is grown as a food crop that yields large grains arranged in rows. You must be confused if maize and corn are the same. There is not much difference between the two except that maize is the food crop obtained before harvesting. Once it is harvested, it is called corn.
Maize can be consumed by humans as well as can be used as animal feed. It is enriched with multiple nutrients, such as starch, fiber, fat, proteins, and vitamin B complex. Maize can also help with digestion and provides several minerals.
How to Store Maize
To obtain good quality grains and make them last longer, the storage methods play an important role. If you know the right methods to preserve your maize for a longer period, it prevents chances of loss.
To make the most of your maize, let’s continue reading the article. Some of the storage techniques for maize are listed below to help you preserve your maize.
Check Quality Before Storage
The lifespan of storage depends greatly upon the quality of maize. If the maize you wish to store is of low quality, it will likely go bad after a short period.
What to do then? To increase shelf life, your maize needs to have good quality and the right amount of moisture content to prevent it from frosting.
Use Jute Bags or Aerated Containers
Aerated storage containers with proper ventilation can help increase storage, but they can be costly. Is there any other method for preserving? Jute bags can also be used for this purpose.
However, jute bags need to be checked for holes to avoid exposure to insects. Also, they should not be placed directly on the ground or against the wall.
Keep in a Cool Environment
The temperature should be around 50 degrees for storage of maize contained in aeration bins or jute bags. The cool environment will prevent insects and mold growth. Mold growth is the growth of fungus.
After storing maize in aeration bins, they must be frequently checked for moisture. Extract a small sample to feel the moisture. If you feel the moisture is too much, proper aeration should be done before restoring.
Can You Freeze Maize
Maize, after harvesting when turned to corn, can be frozen. It can be frozen with or without the cob. How is this done? First, you need to peel off the silk from the corn, then blanch the corn to prevent loss of flavor. Place the cobs in boiling water and boil for 5-7 minutes.
Take it out in a container of cold water and allow it to sit for 2 minutes, then drain the water. Transfer it to freezer containers. The container should be sealed and vacuumed, and your corn-turned maize is ready to be frozen.
How Long Does Maize Last
Everything has an expiry date, the limit it can stay in its original form before going bad. The lasting time of maize depends upon the quality and ways of storage we have described above.
Normally the harvested maize, corn lasts for five to seven days at maximum without freezing. This goes for both fresh and cooked corn. The frozen corn can last for up to six to eight months, depending on the way of freezing. Boiled and blanched corns are preferred for preserving frozen corn as it lasts longer.
If the corn is to be kept without the cob, it can be canned into steel containers and kept in freezers for about six to eight months until the seal is intact. Once the cans are opened, the shelf life decreases due to exposure to air and moisture content. Excessive air can make it dry, and humidity can make it go bad fast.
How To Tell If Maize Is Bad
Everything goes bad after it reaches its expiry date, so does the maize. But how can you know if your maize has gone bad or still well to use? Read through the article to know more about it.
- Color: The tips of the cob are the first to go bad. If your corn turned maize is darkening and moist at the top spray, it is not good.
- Mold: The formation of mold on the moist tip indicates that part of the corn has gone bad and needs to be removed.
- Appearance: The outer husk indicates it is going bad because it turns light green and looks dry. Even though you cook this corn, it will have no taste and will be a little chewy. An odor change or appearance change is also a sign of it going bad.
- The crust on Grain: If the crust is found on the maize, then those grains should be extracted and separated from the whole stock. It is better to sell them before they spoil.