Amylomaize was a term coined in the late 1940s by Robert P. Bear of Bear Hybrids Corn Company in Decatur, Illinois to describe his discovery and commercial breeding of a cornstarch with high (>50%) amylose content, also called high amylose starch. The discovery of amylomaize occurred as a mutation in a normal inbred line; from that one mutation an entire new kind of maize (corn) was developed.
Principal uses of amylomaize starch are in making biodegradable plastics (or bioplastics). It is also used in coatings that are edible and digestible. The food that the first American astronauts used on Apollo flights from 1969 to 1972 were coated with amylomaize film, so that no crumbs would float around in the space capsule.
Several years earlier Robert P. Bear had discovered and reported that waxy corn (100% amylopectin starch) also occurred as a mutation. Once discovered and reported, waxy mutations were found in the order of once every 30000 observations.
- Ludwick, Jim (October 9, 1982). "Keeping eye on ears pays off". Herald and Review. Decatur, Illinois. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
- Bear, Robert; Vineyard, M. L.; MacMasters, M. M.; Deatherage, W. L. (Feb 13, 1958). "Development of "Amylomaize"—Corn Hybrids With High Amylose Starch: II. Results of Breeding Efforts". Agronomy Journal. 50 (10): 598–602. doi:10.2134/agronj1958.00021962005000100010x. Retrieved 2017-09-23.
- "It's a Race to the Moon". Decatur Herald. Decatur, Illinois. July 20, 1969. Retrieved 2017-09-23.