Naturally gluten-free: our “homemade” maize

Naturally gluten-free: our “homemade” maize

Maize - a global gluten free grain! Picturesque maize fields flowing over gentle hills or filling wide plains with their rich green colour.

Maize is one of the most important cereals in the world diet and even beats wheat and rice in terms of quantity. A huge advantage is the fact that it is rich in nutrients, tastes delicious and - most importantly - is naturally gluten free. Nearly all of us associate will associate this golden grain with pleasant memories - from wonderfully juicy corn-on-the-cob from the grill to cornflakes for breakfast. It also plays an important role for us here at Schär because many of our products could not exist without it.

Maize - the historic super-grain

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Maize in its original form is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Cultivation in the Americas began over 7000 years ago. Christopher Columbus brought maize to Europe, where it was quickly appreciated and used not only for human consumption but also as animal feed. Today, maize is cultivated all over the world. We have gone a step further in the cultivation of gluten free maize to meet all requirements in terms of quality and security. We have been cultivating maize ourselves since 2009.

Maize: a nutritious super-grain with fans around the world

Maize is not only perfectly suited for the production of gluten free delicacies; it also cuts a fine figure in our power grain check. Maize is an important staple food for a number of reasons: it contains a large number of vitamins (mainly provitamin A, B vitamins, vitamins C and E) and minerals (e.g. iron, potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus and zinc), as well as amino acids and fibre. Maize can be used in a much wider range of foods than other cereals.  Fresh maize goes well in almost any salad or on the grill, while maize meal is an important basic ingredient for dishes nearly all over the world. Maize tortillas and empanadas have conquered the international palate from the Americas. In Europe, maize meal or maize semolina is typically cooked to make maize porridge, better known as polenta. This rustic dish is celebrating a renaissance in modern cuisine. Even very traditional recipes can sometimes be as successful with maize meal as with conventional flour: Why not try making pancakes with maize meal? It's delicious!

Maize: uncompromisingly natural cultivation

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Only top-quality (raw) ingredients are used in our products. It’s no different for maize. It’s for this reason that we work closely with selected farmers. They grow the maize using natural methods with personal guidance and intensive advice from our company.

Seamless controls from seed to finished product

At Schär controlling maize begins before it is sowed.  In order to guarantee that the seeds have not been genetic manipulated, we buy only DNA-certified seeds and then carry out random checks to check whether the seeds really are flawless. We also avoid unpleasant surprises in the selection of varieties from the outset by buying only seeds that have special growth characteristics and are resistant to drought and disease. During cultivation , we also regularly check the various necessary care measures for the plants. This includes proper fertilisation during the plants’ growth phases. Finally, the harvest, which takes place at a precisely defined time in order to achieve the best possible quality, is carried out using modern machines that are operated professionally by trained personnel. The maize grains are then dried on an indirect flame to remove any residues. Last but not least, the maize is ground according to the strictest regulations. This takes place in our own maize mills, which are certified for gluten free grinding . Only maize that has been subject to the strictest of controls from seed selection to flour production may be used in our delicious gluten free products.

Heart and soul in gluten free maize farming

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Our maize farmers are all delighted when they report on the success of the sustainable and innovative cultivation that we implement together. While maize visibly suffers from unusual weather conditions on neighbouring fields, our contract farmers usually produce a good harvest. This requires a lot of commitment, often at all times of the day and night - when it comes to watering and fertilizing, for example. However, it is worth it for both sides. To ensure the quality of the maize and to eliminate and reduce as many stress factors as possible for the plants, the farmers invest in innovative irrigation systems, targeted selection of varieties, selective analysis of the soil and precisely coordinated fertilizers. They receive optimum advice and support from agronomists and other experts from our research and development team. This maize cultivation, thought through from all perspectives, ensures that they will continue to operate successfully in the future. It also gives our farmers a good feeling to know that their maize in gluten free products contributes to improving quality of life for many people.