White Corn vs. Yellow Corn

Corn also called maize is a grain crop that grows around the world and comes in a large and diverse palette of colors such as, blue, orange, purple, but the most common colors that can be seen everywhere are yellow and white corn.

The main difference between white corn and yellow corn is the color of the kernels. White corn is the most common type of sweet corn with creamy and white kernels whereas yellow corn is one of the varieties of corn with pale to dark yellow kernels.

People have a lot of opinions about corn. Some say yellow corn is the juiciest and sweetest corn while others say white corn has better flavor. Truth is, it is not the color that determines the flavor of the corn it is the variety of the corn. Corn is typically grown in three different forms that have been engineered for the minimum to maximum sweetness and those varieties come on all three colors, yellow, white, or bi-color.

Comparison Chart

Basis White Corn Yellow Corn
Color The kernels of white corn are creamy yellow in color due to lack of pigments known as carotenoids Kernels are pale to dark yellow in color due to carotenoid that gives it its yellow hue
Commonly Found White corn is quite popular in Central America and Africa Yellow corn is commonly found in Latin American countries
Vitamin and Lutein           White corn does not contain Lutein and Vitamin A Yellow corn is a good source of Lutein and vitamin A
Water Content It contains plenty of sugar and water in its kernels that make it sweet and juicy It has low water content as compared to white corn
Allele It is white in color due to the presence of two recessive Y alleles It produces carotenoid pigments due to the presence of single Y allele
Food The white corn is commonly added in food such as humitas and fried chips Yellow corn is more commonly added in cakes, soups, and empandas

What is White Corn?

History of White Corn

The scientific name of corn is Zea Mays which is a grain crop and belongs to the grass family called Garminae. White corn is native to America specifically Mexico that is not only grain but also considered as fruit and vegetable.

  • It is considered as a grain because it is a dry seed of a species of grass
  • It is considered as a vegetable when it is harvested before maturity
  • It is considered as a fruit because according to the botanical definition it is the seed bearing part of a flowering plant

During the Age of Discovery, white corn became very popular due to its versatility as a crop and can grow in a wide variety of climate conditions.

Taste & Appearance

Most people believe that white corn is a variety of sweet corn with a higher sugar than the starch ratio.

The ears or body of white corn is tightly wrapped with pale lime green to white husks and one ear of corn contains up to 400 kernels growing in rows lengthwise. Unlike yellow corn, both the milk and kernels of white corn are creamy in color due to the presence of two recessive Y alleles.

The kernels of white corn contain plenty of sugar and water making it sweet and juicy but as the corn matures, the water content decreases, the sugar turns to starch making the kernels harder and tougher.

Nutritional Value of White Corn

The nutritional profile of white corn is somewhat surprising, as it contains about 1.5 grams of fat in a large ear of corn, but only 115 calories with a high water content about 72.84 gram. White corn, besides low fat and high calories also are a good source of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B6.


The three most common uses of white corn are food, starch, and paper.

White corn can be roasted, grilled, blanched, steamed, or pureed. It’s bright and sweet flavors blend well to pastas and salads.

White corn is usually paired well with tomatoes, basil cilantro, lobster, pork, chanterelles, truffles, shelling beans, cream, nutty cheeses, peas, summer squashes, fennel, citrus, and scallops.

It can also be dried and ground into flour for baked goods, tortillas, cereals and used as a crust/crisping agent for dishes both savory and sweet.

Lastly, white corn is also used for oil, as a sweetener in foods and beverages and as a base for beverage alcohol.

What is Yellow Corn?

Yellow corn is also called as “Indian Corn” or maize that belongs to the grass family Poaceae.

History of Yellow Corn

It is an edible grain that is rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidants and was first cultivated by natives of Mexico about 10,000 years ago

Taste & Appearance

Yellow corn that has pale to dark yellow kernels is mostly found in all parts of the world. It contains more lutein and carotenoids that give it its yellow hue.

The ears of yellow corn are wrapped in tightly bound lime hued husks with silks and a tassel extending out from the tip. Freshly harvested yellow corns are sweet in taste offering flavors of almonds and sugar. As the corn matures, the kernels lose their milky consistency giving it to a starchy consistency.

Nutritional Value of Yellow Corn

Yellow corn is a significant source of Vitamin A produced by beta carotene. One ear of sweet corn has the following nutrients per serving,

  • Calories: 90
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrate: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 3.6 milligram
  • Sugar: 5 gram


You can boil, steam, grill, or roast the yellow corn. Though, white corn is preferred for fresh eating in Latin cultures yellow corn is most often used for masa and tortilla making.

Yellow corn is also a hearty addition to soups, stews, and casseroles.

Key Difference

  1. White corn is white in color due to the presence of two recessive Y alleles that do not produce carotenoids (the plant pigment responsible for red, orange, and yellow colors in many fruits and vegetables) while yellow corn is yellow in color due to the presence of single dominant Y allele.
  2. White corn contains less lutein while yellow corn contains more lutein.
  3. The kernels of white corn contain more sugar and water content making it sweet and juicy while the kernels of yellow corn contains less water content.

Comparison Video


Both white corn and yellow corn has been a staple food in many parts of the world. White corn is generally categorized as sweet corn as it contains more sugar and water and is actually a mutation of the regular field corn with a higher sugar than the starch ratio of content while yellow corn is considered as having more nutritional value as it contains more lutein and Vitamin A.

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