Canned corn may be healthier for you than corn on the cob, according to a study by Cornell University scientists. The researchers say that heat processing of sweet corn significantly raises the level of naturally occurring compounds that help fight disease.
The findings are reported in the August 14 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society.
Sweet corn is the number-two processed vegetable in the United States, second only to tomatoes, according to Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of food science at Cornell University and lead author of the paper.
The study shows that heat processing of sweet corn, which is how canned corn is prepared, increases both total antioxidant activity and the level of phenolics -- a naturally occurring type of phytochemical found in many fruits and vegetables. Heating sweet corn, whether it is on the cob, in a casserole, or in the can, enhances its beneficial compounds, Liu noted.
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