The nixtamalization process and its effect on anthocyanin content of pigmented maize, A review

Anayansi Escalante-Aburto, Benjamín Ramírez-Wong, Patricia I. Torres-Chávez, J. Manuel Barrón-Hoyos, Juan de Dios Figueroa-Cárdenas, Jaime López-Cervantes

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11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to compile available knowledge on content and anthocyanin type in different pigmented maize (Zea mays L.) varieties. Additionally, the effects of traditional nixtamalization processing on these compounds are listed, and the studies performed to reduce the negative effects of traditional nixtamalization are described. The use of pigmented maize varieties has increased due to their high phenolic compound content, mainly anthocyanins. These compounds The purpose of this review is to compile available knowledge on content and anthocyanin type in different pigmented maize (Zea mays L.) varieties. Additionally, the effects of traditional nixtamalization processing on these compounds are listed, and the studies performed to reduce the negative effects of traditional nixtamalization are described. The use of pigmented maize varieties has increased due to their high phenolic compound content, mainly anthocyanins. These compounds are responsible for the blue-red color in plants like maize, and they have antioxidant capacity. Anthocyanins are contained in the aleurone layer at the endosperm and in the pericarp of corn kernels. The non-acyl type anthocyanins, such as cyanidin 3-glucoside, pelargonidin 3-glucoside and peonidin 3-glucoside are the most abundant compounds in colored maize; they have high antioxidant capacity. Generally, maize varieties with blue, purple and black color kernels contain the highest anthocyanin contents. Traditional nixtamalization processing is highly aggressive for anthocyanins in maize; it causes anthocyanin losses of up to 100 % during traditional nixtamalization. However, alternative processes of nixtamalization, such as lime-cooking extrusion and fractionated nixtamalization can have higher anthocyanin and phenolic content retention. These newer nixtamalization processes can be more efficient than traditional nixtamalization. Nonetheless, more research is needed to further reduce losses of these natural compounds, which are useful for obtaining new nutraceutical products from pigmented maize varieties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-427
Number of pages1
JournalRevista Fitotecnia Mexicana
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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