Consider the following statements:
- Maize can be used for the production of starch.
- Oil extracted from maize can be a feedstock for biodiesel.
- Alcoholic beverages can be produced by using maize.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2014 Prelims]
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Statement 1 is correct: Maize starch is produced through a wet milling process that involves grinding softened maize and separating various components such as corn oil seeds (germs), gluten (proteins), fibers (husk), and pure starch. Corn starch is derived from maize kernels, which have a high starch content. Corn starch has a diverse range of applications, such as being used as a thickening agent in soups, in the production of bio-plastics, and in the preparation of corn syrup.
- Statement 2 is correct: Biodiesel fuels are typically produced through the transesterification of fat or oil triacylglycerols with a short-chain alcohol like methanol or ethanol in the presence of an alkaline or acid catalyst. Corn biodiesel is a mixture of long-chain fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), which can be derived from oil extracted from maize.
- Statement 3 is correct: The primary type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and spirits is called ethanol. To produce alcohol, grains, fruits, or vegetables must undergo a fermentation process, with maize and other grains being a common source of ethanol.
Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.