Why is sweet corn not digested?

22nd July 2009

Asked by: Judy Williamson, Fort William

Sweet corn is digested, otherwise there would be little point in eating it. The inside of each kernel is almost pure starch and is digested very readily. But it is surrounded by a cellulose husk and humans have no way to break down cellulose molecules. If you swallow sweet corn, with or without chewing, some of the kernels may remain intact in the stomach and, although enzymes will diffuse in and nutrients diffuse out, the overall appearance of the kernel will remain very similar when it eventually emerges.