What Is Maize Flour? [Benefits & Uses]

What Is Maize Flour

The second most produced flour after wheat flour, maize flour is known for its beautiful and distinctive texture and maize (corn) taste. Called by other names one too many times, maize flour is the same thing as a corn flour. But if they are the same thing, what is maize flour, after all?

Maize flour is what you obtain when you grind the desiccated seed of the maize plant, also known as a corn kernel. 

Used for baking and cooking, maize flour is also known for its health benefits and versatility when it comes to extended use scenarios beyond the kitchen department. Below I’ll explain in more detail what maize flour is, what it is used for and why you should add it to your diet. 

What Is Maize Flour Made Of?

Maize Flour is made of corn and is a fine powder made from the grinding process of a whole dried corn kernel. You might wonder, but that isn’t what I normally call corn flour. In fact, corn flour is the exact same thing as maize flour. The only difference? Corn flour is the US designation, while maize flour is more common in the UK. 

Even though, technically speaking, maize is the crop in its agricultural environment; all maize is corn (but not all corn is maize). Difficult to explain and understand, you need to know that both names are used for one thing only: the flour produced from grinding dried corn.

Fun fact: even inside the US, the two names are used to talk about the same thing. Depending on the state you’re from, the fine powder from maize (corn) can either be corn flour or maize flour. 

What Is Maize Flour Used For?

Maize Flour is a versatile ingredient with culinary, industrial, and even medical uses. Let’s quickly go through the most common uses of maize flour in these three areas: 

Culinary

Maize flour is used for baking goods and as a meat binder (for croquettes, for example). As for baking, you can use maize flour to give an earthier flavor to your bread, muffins or doughnuts, pancakes, wafers, or biscuits.

Maize flour can also be used on the batter for fried chicken nuggets, tenders, or wings for extra crispiness. And, let’s not forget about delicious tortillas, proof on earth that maize flour is a special ingredient and that everything that has maize flour automatically gains an incredible earthy taste of corn.

Industrial

Funny enough, the first use of maize flour was not for baking but for starching clothes. Maize flour is also used as an adhesive, particularly interesting for the conversation of books and paper.

Medical

Besides being the powder used in medical gloves and condoms as a non-sticking agent, maize flour also has several health benefits. Read about those below.

Is Maize Flour the Same as Wheat Flour?

Maize flour and wheat flour are not the same. They differ in texture, flavor, and nutrients. Another thing that distinguishes the two is that maize flour is gluten-free, which is not true for wheat flour. [1] If we are counting calories, wheat flour gains more calories per 100 grams than maize flour. [2] [3]

Can we replace one with the other when baking or cooking? We can, but the results will not be the same as originally expected. Nonetheless, for health reasons, maize flour is a good substitute for wheat flour.

What Is Maize Flour
RELATED: Corn Flour vs. Wheat Flour: Differences

What Are the Health Benefits of Maize Flour?

Being the result of the grinding of corn kernels, maize flour will contain the same vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and starch you’ll find in the corn itself. 

That is what makes maize flour so rich in essential nutrients important for maintaining good health. [4] Among those, we can find: 

• Iron, essential to driving oxygen around the body, 

• Phosphorus is important to filter waste, repair tissues, fortify bone density, and create energy, 

• Potassium is a very good nutrient to control blood pressure, assist in digestion, and maintain heart rhythm. It also boosts the nervous system function,

• Zinc is vital for our immune system. 

Apart from those, maize flour has other important health benefits like anemia and cancer prevention, and it also improves eye health and supports a gluten-free diet. [5] [6] [7]

Low in saturated fats, there is another interesting fact about maize flour. It has virtually no cholesterol. 

In excess, however, it can upset your digestive system, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. [8]

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!