Corn is one of the most widely grown cereal crop in the world and while the majority is used for animal feed and industrial materials, we cannot forget the delicious snack options it offers us as consumers.
Of course, most would now think of popcorn or maybe corn on the cob, forgetting of parched corn’s descendant, the crunchy corn nut.
Initially, parched corn was eaten by the European colonists for being nutritionally dense and very light to carry, making it the perfect road trip snack. This remains true today.
Before World War II, an effort to make corn a fun snack was attempted by Albert Holloway who was deep frying the Golden Iowa corn variety. While growing his corn in Texas, he came across a National Geographic article which portrayed the Cuzco corn or Choclo in Peru. Intrigued by the size of these kernels, he decided to import and experiment with it. The new corn nuts were much crispier and nuttier in taste as well larger in size. This made them the panacea of corn. ,
At core, corn nuts are simply kernels of corn roasted, toasted or deep-fried. They do not have any benefits or disadvantages over different corn foods. With just 130 calories per 1/3-cup serving, they’re relatively low in calories, but fairly high in sodium and fat. Corn nuts contain mostly unsaturated fat, which plays an important role in regulating cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy heart. However, it is very important to consume the snack in moderation, as the overall fat levels are high.
Manufacturers of corn nuts usually sink the kernels into water for various days to bring them to their original size or rehydrate them. The corn is then either roasted, deep-fried or toasted, further flavoured and packed. A study done in Egypt in 2016 shows how frying is the preferred method when it comes to processing corn nuts, scoring higher than roasting in aspects such as taste, color, crispiness and flavor.
The most popular brand of the crunchy snack is the American CornNuts which originates from Holloway’s invention. Alternatives can be found in other countries. In South America the snack is called cancha or maiz tostado and is very popular as a snack as well as an addition to main dishes such as ceviche in Peru. In Philippines the consumers enjoy cornick, a type of corn nut, smaller and crispier, usually with an added garlic taste. Within Europe, the crunchy kernels are mostly popular down south. This snack is extremely popular in Spain where the locals enjoy it over a beer or add it to their soups. Turkish soslu mısır or corn with sauce as they call it, is one of the top consumed snacks in the country as well as a popular export product.
At Kuipers, our fryers can guarantee a fresh, crispy product with the lowest oil usage during the frying process. If you wish to bring out an alternative, delicious snack for your customers, talk to our team to find out more information!
Kuipers latest corn processing plant in the workshop, capacity 1000 kg/h