Corn is the cereal with the highest production worldwide and is used for human consumption, livestock feed, and fuel. Various food technologies are currently used for processing industrially produced maize flours and corn meals in different parts of the world to obtain precooked refined maize flour, dehydrated nixtamalized flour, fermented maize flours, and other maize products. These products have different intrinsic vitamin and mineral contents, and their processing follows different pathways from raw grain to the consumer final product, which entail changes in nutrient composition.
Corn is the main cereal grain as measured by production but ranks third as a staple food, after wheat and rice. The reasons for this fact are varied, but some of them are related to cultural or social preferences and also because in some countries, corn is cultivated as livestock feed. More recently, the use of corn as a biofuel has generated great concern about rises in the market price of corn for consumption, the need to increase cultivable areas, as well as water quality and other ecological damages.