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CHAPTER 2

2.1 Introduction

Agriculture is one of the biggest sectors in the Philippines which employs

majority of the population. Since the production of crops every year is numerous, it
generates a lot of waste material after the harvesting season. Majority of the agriculture

wastes generated are used as a fuel in the rural households. However, there are several

crops which yield various types of fibres and these have been used in the preparation of

various articles since ages. These fires can be used in rural construction activities too.

Construction of houses, plastering of walls, and construction of amenities use this

material as these are freely and abundantly available. Furthermore, the use of natural

fibres in rural construction activities, which are stronger and more durable, can resolve

one of the major deficiencies in rural structures.


With the said application of the natural fibres in rural structures, it has the

potential to be used as reinforcement in cement and concrete matrices to overcome some


inherent deficiencies of these materials. These fibres are advantageous as compared to

widely used artificial fibres because they are cheaper, renewable, non-abrasive, abundant,

and do not create health and safety problems during handling, processing and mixing
operations. Addition of fibres can increase compressive strength and also reduce plastic

shrinkage and drying shrinkage by arresting the propagation of crack.

2.2 Relevant theories and literature

The long shiny fibers at the top of an ear of corn are called corn silk. Corn silk is used as a medicine.
Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils,
steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk
remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the
hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism.

Corn Silk

Corn silk is a bundle of silky long and yellowish strands that are thread-like fibres

which grow as a part of ears of corn. It is an agricultural waste with cellulose content.
This cellulose content is obtained from the bark, wood, or leaves of plants. Cellulose

fibre is a thick strong strand that gives vegetable or fruits their structural integrity Also,

natural cellulose fibers from plants were used as reinforcements in materials to improve

mechanical properties.

Corn silk is also in various food, agricultural, and medicinal products. It is often

used as a tea and also been powdered as a food additive. Its fibres are also used in the

textile industry where it is made into fabric at a cheap cost (Thompson, 2017).

Sources of Raw Material

The availability of the primary material of this research study, which is corn silk,

is highly applicable free since the researchers used waste corn silk from the public market

and corn field. Corn silk has an abundant supply through its corn fields and corn silks are

considered as a by-product of corn.

According to Philippine Statistic Authority data of Major Crops in the Philippine,

corn was the 2nd top crop produced in the country next to rice.

Corn production during the last five years increased from 6.38 million mt in 2010

to 7.77 million mt in 2014. Average annual growth was 5.1 percent.

In 2014, total corn production reached 7.77 million mt and was 5.3 percent higher

than the 2013 output level of 7.38 million mt. Harvest area increased by 1.9 percent from

2.56 million hectares in 2013 to 2.61 milllion hectares in 2014.

Isabela was the leading province with 1.18 million mt of corn produced or 15.1
percent share to the national output. Bukidnon and South Cotabato followed with 0.81

million mt and 0.50 million mt or 10.4 percent and 6.4 percent share, respectively.

In Bulacan, 3,666 mt volume of corn were produced and harvested in the area of

1,167 hectares while in Nueva Ecija, 25,804 mt volume of corn were produced and

harvested in the area of 7,102 hectares in 2014.