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Like wheat germ and rice germ, maize germ is the part of the grain that would grow into the new plant. Relative to the whole maize grain, the germ is tiny making up only about 10% of the total weight, but it contains the vast majority of the grain's non-carb nutrients including a very high level of essential omega-6 oils and other healthy unsaturated oils along with a good dose of vitamin E, A and K.
Many canine nutritionists believe that the carbs in maize are more difficult to digest than those in many other grains making it more likely to lead to dietary intolerance. Maize germ, on the other hand, does not include any of the starchy endosperm (the source of virtually all of the grain's carbohydrates and gluten) which makes it much less likely to lead to any adverse reaction.