Maize (Zea mays) is a cereal very important around the world and is a fundamental element of the Mexican cuisine. The basis of Mexican traditional food is maize prepared by the process of “nixtamalización” which conserves the properties of the whole grain cereal. The phytochemical profiles of Z. mays contain total phenolics, ferulic acid, carotenoids, and flavonoids called anthocyanins. It is generally accepted that anthocyanin food colors do not exert obvious toxicity, teratogenicity, or mutagenicity and, indeed, anthocyanins may inhibit mutagenesis. Nutraceutical properties of phenolic and anthocyanin compounds in the maize that offer antioxidant activities is shown in five types of corn (white, yellow, high carotenoid, blue, and red). Therefore, the consumption of maize or its derivates such as tortillas, tortilla chips, etc., become functional food, with the ability to be used to prevent the incidence of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative disorders. Likewise, a diet that includes corn can be used during the management of these diseases. However, it is necessary to carry out more studies that highlight the efficiency of corn byproduct consumption during these diseases.
Part of the book: Corn