Home >

Food Grade


Pioneer® brand Food-Grade White and Yellow Corn Hybrids

Pioneer® brand food-grade corn hybrids are designated as food-grade yellow, food-grade white and hard-textured corn hybrids.

Maximizing Yields From Your Fields

Approximately 3% of the annual U.S. corn production is used for beverage alcohol and human food consumption. As demand for corn processing grows, increasing productivity is essential at every step in the food corn value chain. Pioneer is combining more than 80 years of corn breeding expertise with accelerated technologies to increase both grain yields and the milling quality of corn.

U.S. Corn Utilization: 2008 - 2009
Chart: U.S. Corn Utilization: 2008 - 2009

Pioneer® brand Food-Grade Hybrids

  • Pioneer began developing superior white corn hybrids over 50 years ago. Today, Pioneer continues this commitment by maintaining three separate white corn breeding programs in North America.
  • All Pioneer® brand food-grade corn hybrids are characterized for such traits as kernel density, composition, size, and ear rot diseases (Fusarium, Gibberella, Diplodia).

Corn kernels

Improving Quality With Herculex® Insect Protection

Pioneer food-grade hybrids combined with Herculex® insect protection traits help maximize grain yields and quality by:

  • Reducing insect damage to the grain and plant.
  • Reducing the risk of molds and mycotoxins.

These exciting technologies help ensure a more consistent supply of high quality grain for efficient food-grade corn milling.

The U.S. Food Corn Market is Composed of 3 Segments:

  1. Dry Milling - is a form of value-added processing that fractionates corn mechanically, producing grits, meal, and flour. Popular foods such as breakfast cereals, baking mixes, and extruded snacks are made from dry milled corn.
  2. Alkaline Cooking - is the ancient process that transforms corn into dough, generally referred to as masa. Corn tortillas, tacos, and corn chip snacks are all products of alkaline cooking.
  3. Specialty Grain Handlers - distribute white and yellow food grade corn to both domestic and export markets.


What Food Corn Processors Want

  • Corn with a higher percentage of hard (horneous) endosperm
  • Higher test weight corn
  • Minimal dent in the crown of kernels
  • Low levels of broken kernels and foreign material (BCFM)
  • Low temperature dried corn
  • Kernels free of stress cracks
  • Low levels of mycotoxins
  • Kernels of uniform size
  • Corn with a clean yellow or pearly white color
  • Appropriate taste and texture (mouth feel) when processed

Field study.

Food corn market opportunities can be both worthwhile and rewarding. However, it is imperative that growers fully understand the expectations of a particular market prior to engaging in it. There are special considerations associated with producing food grade corn that growers should be prepared to manage. Careful and proper harvesting, drying, handling, and storage of grain is necessary to ensure full grower premiums or incentives are received. Pioneer does offer growers information and expertise to help them fulfill these market demands.

At Pioneer, our continuing challenge is to provide seed products that growers want to plant, which yield the type of grain food corn processors find of value. For additional information regarding yellow and white food grade hybrids, contact your local Pioneer sales professional or Roger Theisen, Specialties Marketing Manager.


North American Millers Association:

Tortilla Industry Association:

American Institute of Baking:

American Association of Cereal Chemists:

Maintaining Corn Grain Quality Through Harvest
& Drying

Pioneer End-Use Team