Super sweet corn

Super sweet corn

Super sweet corn are varieties of sweet corn which produce higher than normal levels of sugar.

Supersweet sweet corn was developed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor John Laughnan. He was investigating two specific genes in sweet corn, one of which, the sh2 gene, caused the corn to dry and shrivel. After further investigation Laughnan discovered that the endosperm of sh2 sweet corn kernels store less amounts of starch and from 4 to 10 times more sugar than normal sweet corn. He published his findings in 1953, disclosing the advantages of growing supersweet sweet corn, but many sweet corn breeders lacked enthusiasm for the new supersweet sweet corn. Illinois Foundation Seeds Inc. was the first seed company to release a supersweet sweet corn and it was called "Illini Xtra Sweet" but widespread use of the supersweet hybrid did not occur until the early 1980's. It is popularly known due to its long shelf life and large sugar content when compared to conventional sweet corn. This has allowed the long-distance shipping of sweet corn and has enabled manufacturers to can sweet corn without adding extra sugar or salt.


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