Purple corn, also known as purple cob, is a variety of corn native to Peru.
Morado corn has been cultivated since the pre-Hispanic era and was known in the past as kully sara or chinco sara. It is cultivated at altitudes ranging from 2500 to 3600 meters above sea level. Its cob, which is purple, contains anthocyanins, cyanide and glucose in larger quantities in the cob than in the individual kernels. Anthocyanins have a particular health value, as they are antioxidant and helpful in managing blood pressure. This grain is at risk of extinction in the Choquecancha community as well as others throughout the country, as competition from genetically improved corn (OGM) for commercial purposes is very tough.
The violet color provided by anthocyanins is a natural pigment that we also find in cherries, blueberries, plums and have antioxidant properties.
Purple corn is locally known as maiz morado or kculli.
The kernels of purple corn are soaked in hot water by people of the Andes to yield a deep purple color for foods and beverages, a practice now recognized for its industrial uses as a colorant. Common in Peru, purple corn is used in chicha morada, a drink made by boiling ground purple corn kernels with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar, and in mazamorra, a type of pudding.
Purple corn is a superfood that stands out for its nutritional content. It contains proteins, oil and its main component is starch.
It has essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, niacin and anthocyanins. The last one is one of its main compounds and the reason why purple corn is one of the most beneficial foods for humans. It also has phytonutrients that strengthen the immune system.
Mountains of Valle d’Aosta (high-altitude)
In medicine for antioxidant and anticancer properties and as natural food and textile coloring