What is it about?

Maize grains are composed of the pericarp, endosperm, and germ. Consequently, any treatment, such as electromagnetic fields (EMF) must alter these components, which in turn alters the physicochemical properties of the grain. Since starch is a major component of corn grain, and given the great industrial importance of starch, this study investigates how EMF affects the physicochemical properties of starch. Mother seed were exposed to three different intensities 23, 70, and 118 μT for 15 days. Except for a slight porosity on the surface of the starch of the grains of plants exposed to higher EMF, the starch showed no morphological differences between the different treatments and the control (according to scanning electron microscopy). The X-ray patterns showed that the orthorhombic structure was kept constant, unaffected by the intensity of EMF. However, the pasting profile of starch was affected, and a decrease in the peak viscosity was obtained when the intensity of EMF increased. In contrast to the control plants, FTIR shows characteristic bands which can be attributed to the stretching of the Cdouble bondO bonds at wave number 1.711 cm−1. EMF can be considered a physical modification of starch.

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Why is it important?

There have been several attempts to interpret the interaction between electromagnetic fields and plants; nevertheless, none has yet succeeded in explaining how these changes can affect starch in corn. Since maize starch is produced by plants exposed to low intensity electromagnetic fields, this article examines how the electromagnetic field affects its physicochemical properties. Seeds were exposed to three different intensities of the EMF for 15 days: 23, 70, and 118 μT.


The effects of EMF on seeds needs to be further investigated, and it represents a physics-based approach to modified starch.

PhD Leonardo Alexis Alonso
Universidad de los Llanos

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This page is a summary of: The effect of the electromagnetic field on the physicochemical properties of isolated corn starch obtained of plants from irradiate seeds, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, May 2023, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2023.123981.
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