Can we digest corn? Sometimes it may seem like we can’t, as it passes through our intestines appearing basically unchanged.
We can actually digest the internal portion of corn quite well. The internal part of the corn, called the endosperm, is very digestible. The external part, the skin or pericarp, however, isn’t digested. The human body lacks the necessary bacteria to digest the cellulose that makes up the pericarp.
If you eat either corn on the cob or popcorn, the external portion passes through undigested, but you don’t notice it as much with popcorn. The popping process makes the external layer of the corn brittle and breaks into smaller pieces, and also makes it turn brown, so it is not noticed as much.