Corn starch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

 
  (Redirected from Cornstarch)
Jump to: navigation, search

Corn starch, cornstarch, cornflour or maize starch is the starch of the corn (maize) grain obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel.

Contents

History

Advertisement for a Cornflour manufacture, 1894

Until 1850, corn starch was used primarily for starching laundry and industrial uses.[1]

Use

Corn starch is used as a thickening agent in soups and liquid-based foods, such as sauces, gravies and custards by mixing it with a cold liquid to form a paste or slurry. It is sometimes preferred over flour because it forms a translucent mixture, rather than an opaque one. As the starch is heated, the molecular chains unravel, allowing them to collide with other starch chains to form a mesh, thickening the liquid (Starch gelatinization).

It is usually included as an anticaking agent in powdered sugar (10X or confectioner's sugar). For this reason, recipes calling for powdered sugar often call for at least light cooking to remove the raw corn starch taste. Baby powder often uses cornstarch.[citation needed]

Corn starch when mixed with a fluid can make a non-Newtonian fluid, e.g. adding water makes Oobleck and adding oil makes an Electrorheological fluid.

A common substitute is arrowroot, which replaces corn starch on a 1:1 ratio.[2]

Manufacture

The corn is steeped for 30 to 48 hours, which ferments it slightly. The germ is separated from the endosperm and those two components are ground separately (still soaked). Next the starch is removed from each by washing. The starch is separated from the corn steep liquor, the cereal germ, the fibers and the corn gluten mostly in hydrocyclones and centrifuges, and then dried. (The residue from every stage is used in animal feed and to make corn oil or other applications.) This process is called wet milling. Finally, the starch may be modified for specific purposes.[3]

Names and varieties

See also

References

External links