What is starch? Starch is more than simply a type of carbohydrate used to make functional ingredients – it is actually a common carbohydrate in the human diet. This is because starch is naturally present in many of those things we eat every day such as cereals, vegetables, pasta, bread, rice, beans and potatoes.
Tapioca starch is finely extracted from the roots of the cassava root. It may be confused by tapioca flour or cassava flour, but the manufacturing processes and the powder’s characteristics of both make the difference.
Tapioca starch is not only used in the food industry but also in the chemical field. In food, it is used to produce the popularly known boba pearls. It can also be used as a thickener to soups and sauces. It can also be used to retain the moisture and firmness of meat products. Additionally, it is used in paper production, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and the textile industry.
Known as a very fine natural polymeric carbohydrate, rice starch contains amylose and amylopectin. It is the reason why it forms a smooth and creamy texture gel when heated. It has a neutral taste, white color, gluten-free, and has a great digestibility.
Rice flour can be used in baby foods or organic meals, thickeners for soups, sauces, cereals, confectionary coating, chips, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, ice cream, cheese, dry blend mixes, and more. Rice starch can also be used as a natural fat replacer. The absence of protein factor in rice starch makes it differ from rice flour.
Potato starch is extracted from potatoes to create a powder-like substance. Potato starch is best used when you don’t want to change the flavor of your recipes. Most starches are added at the end of cooking as thickeners, but potato starch can endure higher temperatures at extended periods.
As it can tolerate higher temperatures, it is an excellent substitute for cornstarch in several baked goods to produce a moist, chewy texture. It can further be used as a thickener to soups, sauces, and pie fillings. For those with food allergies, potato starch, which is gluten-free, soy-free, and grain-free is the safest add-in ingredient to recipes.
Corn starch is extracted from the endosperm of the corn, which produces a white powdery substance. It shall be noted that cornstarch is sensitive to high temperatures. If it does, the molecules break down, which releases all the moisture content causing the mixture in a runny liquid state.
There can be a wide selection of recipes where cornstarch is used. It can serve as a thickening agent to soups, pudding, stews, or it can be incorporated into sweet desserts to generate a light and airy texture without changing the flavor. Moreover, it can be used in baking cakes, bread, brownies, cookies, and it can also be mixed in commercial products like shredded cheese and powdered sugar.
Arrowroot starch is extracted from the roots of a tropical plant identified as Maranta Arundinacea, which resembles the cassava root. It is a powdery starch which is grain-free, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly. To avoid sensitivity or allergens to other types of starch, pesticide-laden, or GMO, arrowroot starch is the best alternative and substitutes.
Wheat starch is extracted from the processed endosperm of the wheat grain. The process involves a special mixture of the starch and water, letting the solution evaporates while removing the proteins until it becomes fine powdery starch.
Wheat starch is primarily used as a thickener to improve the texture of recipes; however, as it contains more glucose molecules, it can also be used as sweeteners like glucose syrup, maltodextrin, and dextrose. It can also be used as stabilizers for sauces, salad dressings, pie fillings, and puddings. Additionally, it is the main ingredient in noodles, pancakes, and bread.
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