Corn oil is oil extracted from the germ of corn (maize). Its main use is in cooking, where its high smoke point makes it a valuable frying oil. It is also a key ingredient in some margarines. Corn oil has a milder taste and is less expensive than most other types of vegetable oils.
One bushel of corn contains 1.55 pounds of corn oil (28 kg/ Mg). Corn agronomists have developed high-oil varieties, however, these varieties tend to show lower field yields, so they are not universally accepted by growers. Refined corn oil is 99% triglyceride, with proportions of approximately 59% polyunsaturated fatty acid, 24% monounsaturated fatty acid, and 13% saturated fatty acid.
Corn oil is also one source of biodiesel. Biodiesel is commonly made from soybeans, but as corn oil refining technology improves, it will become a greater source of biodiesel and a backup source in case of large-scale soybean crop failures. Other industrial uses for corn oil include soap, salve, paint, rustproofing for metal surfaces, inks, textiles, and insecticides. It is sometimes used as a carrier for drug molecules in pharmaceutical preparations.