Sweet Corn – From Field to Freezer

March 2, 2014

Have you ever wondered what goes into getting sweet corn from the fields into your freezer? At Green Giant, we take pride in the process that allows you to have field-fresh vegetables on your table throughout the year.

Our farming experts use decades of experience and research to ensure we harvest the best vegetables at the best time, lock in their goodness, and get them to you as quickly as possible. This blog will look into the process for our sweet corn.

Our sweet corn is 100% U.S.-grown. Most of our corn is packed out of MN, with the remainder being packed out of the Pacific Northwest.  We have developed our own sweet corn hybrid seed. This seed is unique to us, and we believe it grows into the best sweet corn for you.


We plant our seeds in May and June, and our growing season takes place between May and August. Once our sweet corn reaches its peak ripeness, it is simply:

  1. Harvested
  2. Washed
  3. Blanched
  4. Frozen
  5. Packaged


Nothing beats vegetables right from the field. That’s when their taste, texture, color and nutritional value are as good as they get. The more time the vegetable takes to get from the field to the freezer and your table, the more nutrients it will lose. This is because light, heat and time can sap some of a vegetable’s nutrients.

We harvest our corn around the clock when it’s ripe to make sure we pick it at just the right time. We move fast to lock in the sweet corn’s natural nutrients and flavor. The same day it’s harvested, we haul our sweet corn by truck to our plants.


Once the corn reaches our plants, it is husked and the kernels are sawed off the cob. Then, the corn is washed to remove dirt and any bacteria.

The corn then goes through a quick heat treatment to deactivate enzymes that would otherwise break down the corn over time. This process preserves the corn’s quality.

Next, we quickly cool the corn with chilled water and dry it to keep the kernels from clumping together in the packaging. Quality control ensures that only the finest kernels make it to the package.


After the corn is heated and cooled, we freeze the corn and place it into cold storage. It is then packaged and shipped to retailers.

The whole freezing process is like stopping the natural clocks of the corn, so the kernels lose less of the fresh-picked goodness that’s present the moment they are picked.

Several research studies show that freezing vegetables “locks in” important vitamins and stops the nutrient loss that can occur in fresh vegetables over time.

Our farmers take great pride in growing the tastiest and highest quality vegetables for you. To learn more, visit our website where you can watch some of our farmers talking about the growing, harvesting and freezing process: www.greengiant.com.


Featured Recipe

Quinoa SuccotashGreen Giant Quinoa Succotash

  • Product: Green Giant Niblets Corn & Butter Sauce
  • Recipe: A meatless main dish or a tasty side to serve with your grilled meats, this lima bean, corn and quinoa combo is easy to make with Green Giant® frozen vegetables.


  •  3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 box (9-oz.) Green Giant® Simply Steam® Baby Lima Beans
  • 1 box (10-oz.) Green Giant® Niblets® Corn & Butter Sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • Sliced green onions, if desired


  • In fine strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water 1 minute; drain well. In 2-quart saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil. Recude heat to low; cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, cook lima beans and corn as directed on boxes; drain lima beans. Pour into 10-inch skillet. Add paprika, salt and pepper; mix well. Stir in cooked quinoa and tomato. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with green onions.
  • Uncooked quinoa has a bitter coating and therefore must be rinsed and drained thoroughly before cooking it.
  • Add some heat by stirring in 1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce with the beans and corn.


About Green Giant®

Few companies enjoy a heritage as rich as that of Green Giant. It all started 110 years ago in 1903, when the Crosby family created the first cannery in the rich valley of Le Sueur, Minnesota, where glaciers carved out some of the richest soil in the world. For generations, Green Giant farmers have been growing the best quality vegetables and freezing them quickly to lock in the freshness. That’s how we’ve made our vegetables deliciously unforgettable for years, and made Green Giant a trusted household brand. For more information and delicious recipes, please visit www.greengiant.com


About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2013 worldwide sales of US $17.8 billion.


Green Giant is a member of the National Frozen and Refrigerated Food Association, and this post originally appeared on the Green Giant blog

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