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Corn-derived Proteins

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 6, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Corn is a common vegetable grown for a wide variety of uses. The stalk produces light-yellow to yellow ears which contain the grain - seeds called kernels. Corn, also known as maize outside the US, is a major livestock feed and food industry backbone. The yield of protein from corn is lower (roughly 8-10%) as compared to that of soy (around 40%). It is also processed into various forms, such as corn-derived proteins, corn starch, corn syrup, or corn syrup solids that may be used in the cosmetics or pharmaceutical industries. Corn-derived protein (also known as zein) is used in the pharmaceutical industries as films, and as capsule and tablet coatings. Zein has also been reported to be used in nanoparticle science. Zein is usually manufactured as a powder from corn gluten meal. Pure zein is clear with no odor or taste, water-insoluble but soluble in ethanol, and edible. It also has a variety of food uses.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.