Its main use is as a food product. The soft corn grain goes through mills and several machines, before the white corn flour can be obtained. The word “Harina” in Spanish, meaning flour, comes from the Latin word "farina", the old name for "Farro", which means the powder after the milling process. The cornmeal can be cooked by itself or used as an ingredient in other recipes like tortillas, tamales, empanadas, arepas and many other dishes.
Instamasa, S.A. is a pre-cooked corn flour brand, that uses limestone in its processing. This is known as Nixtamal. The Nixtamal is the name given to the corn cooked this way using calcium hydroxide, (from the limestone) to remove the husk (pericarp).
The flour obtained is rich in starch (complex carbohydrate) and zein (protein complex), and contains no gluten making it suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. During the grinding process vitamins and minerals are added, such as: Niacin (vitamin B3), thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) and iron.