What is the difference between Native and Modified Starches?
Starch is first separated from agricultural raw materials - primarily wheat, maize or starch potatoes - by applying mechanical processes, such as grinding, followed by mechanical separation of the starch from the other components, such as proteins and fibers.
The result is a milky liquid known as starch slurry, which is a mixture of water and starch granules.
To produce Native Starch, this starch slurry is then usually simply dried. The resulting powder is a native starch, which can have many functionalities in food. The most common and obvious example, that is found and used in many home kitchens, is the commercial form which can be used to thicken sauces.
To produce Modified Starches, the starch slurry is modified by treating it by physical, chemical, or enzymatic means. This modification is usually done to enhance the functional properties of the starch, to suit a specific requirement from a food producer, either acting on the texture of the food to which it is added, or as a suitable fat replacement in low-fat foods for example.
Both Native and Modified starches are carbohydrates and have the same caloric value of 4kcal/g (17kJ/g).
For more information on Starches, visit the dedicated section on Starches here.