A new maize germ flour high in nutrients and having an extended shelf-life is being marketed by Limagrain Cereal Ingredients.
Nutricorn is a stabilised maize germ flour with a shelf-life of six months, which can be used to make bread, cereals, snacks and biscuits for consumers who are wheat intolerant. It has distinct texture, taste and colour, which in bread gives a more dense and colourful crumb and a darker crust and in cereals more crunch and a popcorn-type flavour.
The extended shelf-life offers a huge practical advantage over standard maize germ flour which only has a shelf-life of one month.
Previous attempts to stabilise maize germ and increase shelf-life have affected the nutritional content. But Limagrain says it has developed a process which achieves this without chemical treatment and which does not affect the nutrient value of the flour.
The flour is naturally rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamin B, omega 6 unsaturated fat and vegetable proteins. It is also rich in magnesium. "In Europe the daily recommended intake (RDI) of magnesium is 300mg. To get 50% of this RDI, we needs 150g of chocolate, or 6.25 litres of mineral water or 53g of wheat germ compared with only 30g of Nutricorn," explains Dr Walter Lopez, senior nutritionist with the grain specialist Limagrain.