Among the cereals most consumed by humans, maize grain is in the third position, surpassed only by rice and wheat. In several countries, maize grain is the main source of carbohydrates and proteins. Maize grain is ranked as one of the cereals with the highest content of phenolic compounds. The importance for human health of the consumption of phenolic compounds is due to their proved antioxidant activity. Diets with high amount of antioxidants have been associated with a reduced probability of suffering degenerative chronic diseases. In maize grain, the phenolic acids predominate, among which the main is ferulic acid, followed by p‐coumaric acid, which are highly abundant in their bound forms. However, other phenolics such as anthocyanins, flavonols, and flavanols have been identified in colored maize grains. Additionally, the processing of maize grain into different products for human consumption incorporates changes both in quantity and quality of some phenolic compounds. In the present chapter, we present the most recent information available regarding phenolic compounds in maize grain and their nixtamalized products.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds