Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



Cereal Chemistry (2005) 82(6): 695-701. DOI: 10.1094/CC-82-0695


Copyright © 2005 American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. Used by Permission.


A laboratory nixtamalization process was developed to imitate larger scale cooking/steeping conditions. Corn (45 kg) was cooked in a pilot plant gas-fired cook/steep tank and temperature was monitored every 30 sec. Cooling and heating rates were mimicked in the laboratory using a digital temperature programmable hot plate that adjusted grain-waterlime temperature changes at a specified rate. A Response Surface Central Composite Design was used to model pasting and thermal properties of nixtamal and masa as a function of cooking temperature (86-96°C), cooking time (20-40 min), and steeping time (3-11.77 hr). Nixtamal and masa moisture. dry matter loss, nixtamal and masa RVA peak temperature, shear thinning, nixtamal peak viscosity, masa final viscosity, nixtamal and masa DSC enthalpy peak and end temperatures, and nixtamal onset temperature were explained by the same regression terms for results obtained using both processes conditions. The intercept and slopes of the fitted models for the pilot plant and laboratory responses were not significantly different (P < 0.05). The laboratory method can be used to mimic larger scale processing over a wide range of nixtamalization conditions.

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