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A Protein, Prolamin, extracted from Corn and maize with dilute isopropanol. Zein is a complex protein with a molecular weight of 38,000. It contains 17 amino acids, but is free of Glycine, cystine, Lysine, and tryptophan. It is an odorless and tasteless powder that is slightly white to yellowish in color. Zein is used in manufacturing plastics, paper coatings, adhesives, printing inks, films, edible coatings, varnishes (imitation Shellac), fibers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Zein [Corn Products Refining]


  • Nontoxic.
  • Combustible.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Soluble in methanol, aqueous alcohols, glycols, THF, and strong alkaline solutions.
  • Insoluble in water, dilute acids, anhydrous alcohols, turpentine, esters, oils and fats.
  • Density = 1.226 g/ml

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 241
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • John S. Mills, Raymond White, The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, Butterworth Heineman, London, 2nd ed., 1994