Starches in FoodOpen image in new window

  • Vickie A. Vaclavik
  • Elizabeth W. Christian
Part of the Food Science Text Series book series (FSTS)


Starch is a plant polysaccharide stored in roots and seeds of plants, and in the endosperm of a grain kernel. It provides humans with energy (4 cal/g), and is hydrolyzed into glucose, supplying the glucose that is necessary for brain and central nervous system functioning.


Starch Granule Resistant Starch Modify Starch Starch Molecule Starch Retrogradation 
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Surface adherence of gas, liquids, or solids onto a solid.


Long, linear chain composed of thousands of glucose molecules joined by an α-1,4-gycosidic linkage.


Branched chains of glucose units joined by α-1,4 linkages, with α-1,6 branching occurring every 15–30 units.


A Maltese cross appearance on each uncooked crystalline starch granule when viewed under a polarizing microscope due to light refraction in two directions.


Glucose polymers; a product of the early stages of starch hydrolysis.


Elastic solid formed upon cooling of a gelatinized starch paste; a two-phase system that contains a solid continuous phase and a liquid dispersed phase.


Starch granules take up water and swell irreversibly upon heating, and the organized granular pattern is disrupted.


Formation of a gel upon cooling of a gelatinized starch paste.


Starch grain of long-chain glucose polymers in an organized pattern; granule shape is particular to each starch type.


Starch granules taking up water and swelling as it is exposed to moist heat.


Starch hydrolysis derivative that may be used to simulate fat in formulations.

Modified starch

Specific chemical modification of natural starches to physically create properties that contribute to shelf stability, appearance, convenience, and performance in food preparation.


Reverting back, or reassociation of amylose as the gelatinized starch once again forms a more crystalline structure upon cooling.

Separating agent

Prevents lump formation in a starch mixture. Physically separates starch grains and allows their individual swelling.


A two-phase system with a solid dispersed in a liquid continuous phase.

Spherical aggregate

Open, porous starch granules with spaces that can be filled and used to transport materials such as flavor, essences, and other compounds.


Carbohydrate made up of two molecules—amylose and amylopectin.


Large particles undissolved in the surrounding medium. Particles are too large to form a solution or a sol upon heating.


“Weeping” or water loss from a cooked, cooled gel due to excessive retrogradation or improper gel formation.


Resistance to flow of a liquid when force is applied. A measure of how easily a liquid will flow. Thin liquids have a low viscosity. Thick liquids or gels have a high viscosity and flow slowly.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vickie A. Vaclavik
    • 1
  • Elizabeth W. Christian
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition & Food ScienceTexas Women’s UniversityDentonUSA

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