Standard Article


  1. James N. BeMiller1,
  2. Kerry C. Huber2

Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

DOI: 10.1002/14356007.a25_001.pub4

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry

How to Cite

BeMiller, J. N. and Huber, K. C. 2011. Starch. Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

  2. 2

    School of Food Science, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 FEB 2011

Chemistry Terms

Choose one or more boxes to highlight terms.


The article contains sections titled

2.Sources of Commercial Starches
3.Worldwide Starch Production
3.1.Starch Production and Consumption in the EU
3.2.The USA Corn Wet-Milling Industry
3.3.Tapioca Starch Production in Thailand
4.Molecular Structures and Properties of Amylose and Amylopectin
5.Structures and Properties of Starch Granules
5.1.Granule Structure
5.2.Physicochemical Properties
5.2.3.Pasting and Viscoelastic Properties
6.Minor Components of Starch Granules
7.Starch Biosynthesis and Genetics
8.Industrial Starch Production Processes
8.1.Corn/Maize Wet Milling
8.1.1.Grain Cleaning
8.1.2.Kernel Steeping
8.1.3.Kernel Milling and Fraction Separation
8.1.4.Starch Drying
8.2.Wheat Starch
8.3.Potato Starch
8.4.Tapioca/Cassava Starch
8.5.Rice Starch
9.Modified Starches
9.1.Chemically Modified Starches
9.1.1.Converted Starches and Hydrolyzates Products Dextrins Equivalency Solids and Crystalline d-Glucose Syrups and Crystalline d-Fructose Starch Conversion Products
9.1.2.Cross-linked Starches
9.1.3.Stabilized Starches
9.1.4.Cationic Starch
9.1.5.Starch Graft Copolymers
9.2.Thermally Modified Starches
9.2.1.Instant Starches
9.2.2.Annealed and Heat-moisture-treated Starches
9.2.3.Dry Heating of Starches
9.2.4.Destructurized and Thermoplastic Starch
9.3.Genetically Modified Starches
9.4.Multiple Modifications of Starches
10.Examples of Uses of Starches and Products Derived from Starches
10.1.Uses of Starches
10.2.Uses of Products derived from Starches via Extensive Depolymerization
11.Starch Digestibility

Starch is an abundant, renewable, relatively inexpensive material that can be obtained from multiple plant sources. Approximately 6 × 107 t of isolated starch is produced annually. In particular, corn/maize starch, the starch produced in the greatest amount (ca. 73% of the total), is isolated by a combination of chemical and physical processes. Native starches find use as thickening, binding, gelling, stabilizing, and adhesive agents, but much of the isolated starch is modified in one or more ways before being used. Starches are also starting materials for the production of other chemicals. Starch is produced in plants in the form of water-insoluble granules that must be cooked to release its polysaccharide biopolymers — amylose and/or amylopectin — producing what are called pastes. Starches obtained from various botanical sources have different properties and produce different types of pastes. The properties of any starch can be changed drastically and easily via chemical, enzymic, and/or thermal treatments. They can also be changed genetically, although not as easily. Chemical modifications include depolymerization to various degrees, derivatization, and oxidation. Derivatization involves the formation of ethers and esters — most often with only a small fraction of the hydroxyl groups of the two polymers being derivatized. Treatment with enzymes (amylases) is used to depolymerize the constituent molecules to various extents. Starches and products derived from starches are used extensively in a wide variety of food and nonfood products.