Corn Flour vs. Maize Flour

What's the Difference?

Corn flour and maize flour are both types of flour made from corn kernels, but they have some differences. Corn flour is made from dried corn kernels that have been finely ground, resulting in a fine, powdery texture. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, and gravies. On the other hand, maize flour is made from whole maize kernels that have been ground, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This gives it a coarser texture and a slightly nuttier flavor. Maize flour is often used in baking, particularly for making cornbread, tortillas, and other traditional dishes. Overall, while both flours are derived from corn, their different textures and uses make them distinct from each other.


AttributeCorn FlourMaize Flour
OriginDerived from corn kernelsDerived from maize kernels
ColorWhite or yellowWhite or yellow
TextureFine and smoothFine and smooth
UsageUsed in baking, thickening, and fryingUsed in baking, thickening, and frying
Gluten ContentGluten-freeGluten-free
Nutritional ValueRich in carbohydrates and fiberRich in carbohydrates and fiber
Common DishesTortillas, cornbread, and tamalesTortillas, cornbread, and tamales

Further Detail


Corn flour and maize flour are two popular types of flour used in various culinary applications around the world. While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the attributes of corn flour and maize flour, highlighting their unique characteristics, uses, and nutritional profiles.

Origin and Production

Corn flour and maize flour both originate from corn, which is a cereal grain native to the Americas. However, the terms "corn" and "maize" are often used interchangeably in different regions. Corn flour is primarily associated with North America, while maize flour is commonly used in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and Europe.

The production process for corn flour and maize flour is similar. The corn kernels are dried and then ground into a fine powder. However, there may be variations in the milling process, resulting in different textures and consistencies of the final product.

Texture and Consistency

Corn flour and maize flour differ in terms of their texture and consistency. Corn flour is typically finer and smoother in texture, resembling traditional wheat flour. It has a powdery consistency, making it ideal for baking and thickening sauces or gravies. On the other hand, maize flour tends to be coarser and grittier, with a slightly grainy texture. This texture is well-suited for certain dishes, such as cornbread or tortillas, where a more rustic feel is desired.

Color and Appearance

Another noticeable difference between corn flour and maize flour is their color and appearance. Corn flour is usually pale yellow or white in color, while maize flour has a vibrant yellow hue. This difference in color can be attributed to the specific variety of corn used and the presence of certain pigments, such as carotenoids, in maize. The vibrant yellow color of maize flour can add visual appeal to dishes, making them more visually enticing.

Uses in Culinary Applications

Corn flour and maize flour have distinct uses in various culinary applications. Corn flour is commonly used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and sauces due to its fine texture. It is also a key ingredient in baking, particularly for making cornbread, muffins, and cakes. Additionally, corn flour is often used to coat foods before frying, providing a crispy and golden exterior.

Maize flour, on the other hand, is widely used in traditional dishes in many cultures. In Africa, maize flour is a staple ingredient in dishes like ugali, a thick porridge-like dish, and injera, a sourdough flatbread. In Europe, maize flour is commonly used for making polenta, a versatile dish that can be served as a creamy side or grilled for a crispy texture. Maize flour is also a key component in the production of tortillas, tamales, and other Latin American and Mexican dishes.

Nutritional Profile

When it comes to nutritional composition, corn flour and maize flour have some similarities but also notable differences. Both flours are primarily composed of carbohydrates, with corn flour containing slightly higher levels of carbohydrates compared to maize flour. They are also relatively low in fat and protein.

However, maize flour generally has a higher fiber content compared to corn flour. This higher fiber content can contribute to improved digestion and a feeling of fullness. Additionally, maize flour is a good source of essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. On the other hand, corn flour may contain higher levels of certain vitamins, such as niacin and folate.


In conclusion, while corn flour and maize flour share a common origin, they have distinct attributes that set them apart. Corn flour is finer in texture, pale yellow or white in color, and commonly used in baking and as a thickening agent. Maize flour, on the other hand, is coarser, vibrant yellow in color, and widely used in traditional dishes around the world. Understanding the differences between these two flours can help you choose the most appropriate one for your culinary needs, whether you're baking a cake or preparing a traditional African meal.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.