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A corncob with attached corn kernels

A corncob, also called corn cob, cob of corn, or corn on the cob, is the central core of an ear of maize (also known as corn). It is the part of the ear on which the kernels grow. The ear is also considered a "cob" or "pole" but it is not fully a "pole" until the ear is shucked, or removed from the plant material around the ear. It is also the green husk that goes outside the corn.

Young ears, also called baby corn, can be consumed raw, but as the plant matures the cob becomes tougher until only the kernels are truly edible. However, during several instances of famine, especially in the European countries through the history, people have been known to eat the corncobs, especially the foamy middle part. The whole cob or just the middle used to be ground and mixed with whatever type of flour that was at hand (usually wheat or corn flour). It served as a sort of a peculiar "filler", to extend the quantity of the original flour and as such, it was used even in production of bread.

Containing mainly cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, corncob is not toxic to humans and can be digested, but the outside is rough and practically inedible in its original form, while the foamy part has a peculiar texture when mature and is completely bland, which most people would find unappealing, due to the consistency similar to foam plastic.

Corncobs are particularly good source of heat when burned, so they were traditionally used for roasting meat on the spit, barbecuing and heating the bread ovens, through the centuries. In the olden days, it was especially appreciated for its long and steady burning embers, also used for the ember irons.

When harvesting corn, the corncob may be collected as part of the ear (necessary for corn on the cob), or instead may be left as part of the corn stover in the field.

Uses

Corncobs find use in the following applications:

Other applications include:

References

  1. ^ Engineers, N.B.C. (2006). Wheat, Rice, Corn, Oat, Barley and Sorghum Processing Handbook (Cereal Food Technology). Asia Pacific Business Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-81-7833-002-0.
  2. ^ Aston, Andrew (November 14, 2010). "Bedding For Laboratory Animals". ALN Magazine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Tobacco Leaf. 1907. pp. 36, 38. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Roth, Greg; Gustafson, Cole (January 31, 2014). "Corn Cobs for Biofuel Production". Cooperative Extension System. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Corn Cob Powder". www.rahiindustries.com.
  6. ^ Hudson, C. S.; Harding, T. S. (1918). "The Preparation of Xylose from Corn Cobs". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 40 (10): 1601–1602. doi:10.1021/ja02243a010. ISSN 0002-7863.
  7. ^ Ruane, Michael E. (18 Mar 2020). "Toilet paper takes center stage amid coronavirus outbreak. Be thankful we no longer use corn cobs and rope ends". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2020-03-18. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  8. ^ Zeltwanger, Alicia (2018-12-07). "Make Your Own Corn Cob Dolls DIY". Little House on the Prairie. Retrieved 2023-08-14.