Dent corn also known as yellow dent corn, Reid's yellow dent corn, white dent corn, or field corn, is a variety of maize or corn with a high soft starch content. It received its name because of the small indentation ("dent") at the crown of each kernel on a ripe ear of corn. It is a variety developed by northern Illinois farmer James L. Reid. Reid and his father, Robert Reid, moved from Brown County, Ohio to Tazewell County, Illinois in 1846 bringing with them a red corn variety known as "Johnny Hopkins", and crossed it with varieties of flint corn and floury corn. Most of today's hybrid corn varieties and cultivars are derived from it. This variety won a prize at the 1893 World's Fair.
Most of the corn grown in the United States today is yellow dent corn or a closely related variety derived from it. Dent corn is the variety used in food manufacturing as the base ingredient for cornmeal flour (used in the baking of cornbread), corn chips, tortillas and taco shells. Starch derived from this high-starch content variety is turned into plastics, as well as fructose which is used as a sweetener (high-fructose corn syrup) in many processed foods and soft drinks.
Zea mays var. indentata, synonym Zea indentata Sturtev., was identified and published by American agronomist and botanist Edward Lewis Sturtevant (1842–1898). It is categorized as a species within the family Poaceae, subfamily Panicoideae, and tribe Andropogoneae—a tribe of grasses that use the NADP–malic enzyme subtype of C4 photosynthesis in carbon fixation.