Starch is amazingly versatile and found in many kinds of foods in your supermarket. Discover which agricultural raw materials are used to make starch-based ingredients, why they are used and what role they play in our diets! Starch in Food
The starch story
Starch is a natural carbohydrate found in many grains and vegetables.
In Europe, the starch used in our food usually comes from wheat, maize or potatoes, but it can also be found in many other plants including rice, peas, pulses, manioc, sweet potatoes and bananas.
Starch is simply the energy store in a plant’s roots or seeds which they use for new growth in the next season.
Starch as an ingredient is used in thousands of different foods we consume every day. In fact, starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is an essential source of energy for our brains and muscles.
Starch in 3 minutes
Starch in Food: main categories of ingredients
There is a wide range of ingredients made from starch. These starch-based ingredients have many different uses and perform multiple functions, depending on the way they are made and used. Some are used to add thickness to sauces, soups and deserts; others to add sweetness, preserve colour or flavour; others again to keep texture or prevent crystallisation when the products are frozen and reheated. Some starch-based ingredients are also low caloric alternatives for sugar, with recognised benefits on weight management, glycaemic control and dental health.