With the help of research supported by corn checkoff dollars, corn-based materials like bioplastics and fabrics are a reality today. In fact, they are turning up in more and more places – compostable tableware, food containers, gift cards, snack chip bags, bedding, carpet, shirts and more. All of these products are made from renewable corn and directly replace products made from petroleum. NatureWorks LLC is one of the companies that makes raw materials for all these products. Others include Mirel Bioplastics (owned by ADM and Metabolix) and DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts.

Corn New Uses Educational Resources
(PDF Worksheets)

  • Corn Uses 
  • The Numerous Products Made From Corn
  • In a World Without Corn

Student Corn Competition

From 2005 – 2012, ICMC sponsored the Student Corn Innovation Competition, which allowed Purdue students to use their abilities and creativity to develop innovative new products made from corn. Past winners included peelable paint, liquid bandages and hardwood floor coating.

The contest celebrated the talents of budding innovators who have developed “new uses” for corn or its components. Students worked in teams with two faculty advisers to:

  • Brainstorm product ideas
  • Create a production timeline
  • Conduct patent searches
  • Develop a market analysis
  • Document the technical process of creating their product or material
  • Design packaging
  • Market their product or material

There will not be a corn contest held in 2014; however a soybean competition will continue to be held at Purdue University.