Amylomaize

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Amylomaize was a term coined by Robert P. Bear of Bear Hybrids Corn Company in Decatur, Illinois to describe his discovery and commercial breeding of a unique cornstarch with high (>50%) amylose content, also called high amylose starch. The discovery of amylomaize occurred as a mutation in a normal inbred line and from that one mutation, an entire new kind of maize (corn) was developed.

Principal uses of amylomaize starch are in making biodegradable plastics (or bioplastics). It is also used in coatings that are edible and digestible. The food that the first American astronauts used on Apollo flights were coated with amylomaize film, so that no crumbs would float around in the space capsule.

Several years earlier Robert P. Bear also discovered and reported that waxy corn (100% amylopectin starch) also occurred as a mutation. Once discovered and reported, the occurrence of waxy mutations was fairly frequent in the order of once every 30,000 observations.