[mass noun] The principal protein of maize.
- ‘Unlike other corn proteins, which are water soluble, zein repels water, making it an ideal coating material.’
- ‘They showed that rats fed on zein, the major protein of maize endosperm, died of protein starvation.’
- ‘The researchers believed one approach was to develop a less expensive process to separate a valuable protein - zein - from corn.’
Early 19th century: from modern Latin Zea (genus name of maize) + -in.