Acetyl value. Acetyl value of a modified starch is % of acetyl groups calculated on starch dry matter.

Acetylated distarch adipate. Acetylated starch crosslinked by adipate groups.

Acetylated distarch phosphate. Crosslinked starch esterified with acetyl groups.

Acetylated starch. Granular starch ester with a CH3CO-group introduced at low temperature.

Acid conversion. Starch hydrolysis with acid as the catalyst.

Acid stability. The stability of a starch to an acidic low pH environment. It is determined by monitoring the change in the starches properties under defined conditions of storage.

Acid-thinned starch or acid treated starch. Acid-thinned starch is usually prepared by the treatment of an aqueous starch suspension with dilute acid at a temperature below the gelatinization point. The granular form of the starch is maintained.

Adjunct. Malt substitute. Adjunct syrup is used as a brewing supplement and booster – see wort syrup.

Agglomeration. A process in which the surface of small particles of dry starch is wetted with water and “stuck together” during another drying process to form larger particles. This improves the dispersion or solubility in a food system to produce a “lump-free” product such as an instant pudding or gravy.

Alkali lability. Substituents of a modified starch removable by hydrolysis with alkali is titrated. Alkali number. Alkali Number is a measure of the average molecular weight of the starch and expressed as ml 0.1N sodium hydroxide, consumed under test conditions.

Amaranth. Amaranth – a common name used for plants with blossoms that do not readily fade when picked.

Amphoteric. Amphoteric starch is modified starch which both cationic and anionic substituents. f.e. cationic potato starch.

Amylase. Amylase is an enzyme breaking down starch at random. For the liquefaction an a-amylase of bacterial origin is used. For high maltose syrups a -amylase is applied for saccharification.

Amyloglucosidase (AMG). Enzyme cutting off glucose from the non-reducing end of starch. AMG cuts both 1-4 and 1-6 bonds and enables the manufacture of up to 98 DE syrups, acting optimal on molecules that are 4-5 glucose units long.

Amylopectin. For most starches amylopectin is the major component, and amylose the minor component. Amylopectin is a branched glucose polymer with typically one 1-6 glucosidic bonds for every 12 glucose units. Amylopectin consists of several 100.000 glucose units.

Amylose. The minor constituent of starch is amylose – a linear glucose polymer with alpha 1-4 glucosidic bonds only. Amylose may contain 200-2000 anhydroglucose units.

Anhydroglucose unit. The glucose unit of amylose and amylopectin minus one molecule of water.

Anhydrous dextrose. The crystalline form of pure a-D-glucose.

Aqueous. Containing water.

Arrowroot. Arrowroots belong to the family Marantaceae. The true arrowroot plant is classified as Maranta arundinacea.

Aseptic. Ultra high temperature cooking of a food before it is deposited in a sterile container. This process assures sterility in the food product.


BAN. Brand name of bacterial a -amylase hydrolysing 1,4-a -glucosidic linkages at random.

Banana. Banana make up the genus Musa of the family Musaceae. The plantain, or cooking banana, is classified as Musa x paradisiaca.

Barley. Barley, common name for any of a genus of cereal grasses, native to north temperate regions, and one of the most ancient of cultivated plants.

Barley malt. Barley malt is processed from grain, and retains about 40% of its complex carbohydrates. The remaining sugar composition is 42% maltose, 6% glucose, and about 1% fructose.

Baumé (oBe). Density is measured in Baumé: oBe = 145 – 145/specific gravity at 60 oF. The commercial Baumé = oBe + 1 is used within the glucose industry. Baumé tables.

Bioethanol. Bioethanol (Ethyl alcohol, ethanol, etanol, alcohol) is made by yeast fermentation of starch or starch crops. A second generation of bioethanol is made from agricultural cellulosic byproducts.

Birefringence. When starch granules are viewed under the microscope by polarized light they exhibit a phenomenon known as birefringence – the refraction of polarized light by the intact crystalline regions to give a characteristic “Maltese cross” pattern on each granule. The disappearance of these crosses on heating a starch suspension is used to determine gelatinization temperature.

Black pearl. Black spheres made of tapioca starch and used as a chewy constituent of bubble tea.

Bleached starch. Starch that has been treated with low levels of oxidant to improve whiteness without materially affecting other key properties such as viscosity.

BOD. Biological oxygen demand, the measure of the amount of oxygen in a body of water used over a period of time through bacteria and plankton activity to stabilize de-composable organic waste.

Bostwick viscometer. A device to determine the viscosity of a product by determining the amount of flow a product shows during a given amount of time. The product is placed in a try behind a trap door. The door is released and the product is allowed to flow freely for a defined amount of time. The distance traveled is defined as the Bostwick viscosity.

Brabender. Brabender is the name of the manufacturer [Duisburg, Germany] of the Brabender Amylograph or Viscograph, which is or was the starch industry’s established method for determining the viscosity characteristics of starch as it gelatinizes in water. The instrument is a rotational viscometer that allowed the continuous determination of viscosity as the initial suspension of granular starch is heated, gelatinized to a paste, then cooled under closely controlled conditions. Starch concentration, heating/cooling rates and holding periods at defined temperatures can be varied. The Brabender viscosity of a starch is not an absolute quantity; different instruments can give different results even under the “same” test conditions.

Brix. Brix (oBx). Percentage (w/w) of a sucrose solution. See table for conversion: Beaume – Brix – Dry matter of Glucose Syrups.

Brookfield viscometer. The Brookfield Viscometer is a portable rotatory instrument where a rotating cylinder or disc known as the “spindle” is immersed in a test liquid and rotated by a synchronous motor. Apparent viscosity is calculated from the scale reading by use of factors that depend on spindle number (size) and rotation speed.

Brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is an extremely versatile and relatively healthy sweetener which is derived by culturing rice with enzymes to break down the starches.

Bulk density. The apparent density of a powder or particulate product. It is the weight of a unit volume of the powder including the pores and inter-particle voids. The bulk density maybe determined on the loose unpacked powder and on the powder after tamping (‘packaging’) under defined conditions.


Carbohydrate. A chemical compound containing on the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Cellulose, starch, sugars and polyols are typical examples. All carbohydrates contribute approximately 4 Kcal/gram.

Cassava. Cassava belong to the family Euphorbiaceae.

Cassava Flour. Cassava Flour is a white pure nutritious food extracted from fresh roots and useful as wheat flour extender.

Cationic starch. Granular cationic starch ether used in papermaking due to its affinity to cellulose fibres and thereby reducing BOD.

Chemical gain. The increase of dry substance by hydrolysation of starch. Molecular weight of dextrose = 180. Molecular weight of Anhydrous Glucose Unit (AGU) of starch = 162. By converting one AGU into dextrose a chemical gain of 18 is achieved equivalent to 11.1%.

Chemically-modified starch. A starch which has been treated with chemicals so that some hydroxyl groups have been replaced by (usually) ester or ether groups. Crosslinking, in which two hydroxyl groups on neighboring starch molecules are linked chemically, is also a form of chemical modification. Every very low levels of chemical modification can fundamentally change the rheological-, physical-, and chemical properties of starch.

Chips. Chips Sliced and dried cassava roots.

Chiral. Means “handedness” – A chiral or asymmetric molecule is one which can be distinguished from its mirror image.

Chromatography. Method for industrial separation of glucose and fructose on a resin-filled column.

Cold water soluble starch. This term is often used to denote pregelatinized, cold water swelling, or cold water dispersable starches.

Concentrated fruit juice. Concentrated fruit juice is a relatively new sweetener. It is highly refined, decolorized and at 68% soluble sugar, is relatively concentrated.

Congeal. To change from a liquid to a semi- solid, non-fluid mass.

Conversion. Synonym of conversion hydrolysis or hydrolysis.

Convert. To change to a lower molecular weight form, as by dextrinization, hydrolysis, etc.

Converter. Apparatus for the hydrolysis of starch.

Cook-ups. Starches that must be cooked to provide viscosity or thickening for a food system.

Corn. The seed from commercially grown maize (Zea mays) used primarily for animal feed and corn-derived food and industrial products; not sweet corn.

Corn gluten feed. Corn gluten feed is a medium protein by-product, along with fibre and residual starch.

Corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a high-protein, high-energy ingredient consisting of protein (gluten) and yellow pigments separated in the corn wet-milling process.

Corn oil. Corn oil is widely used as a cooking oil and for margarine.

Cross-linked starch. Starch which has been treated with a bi- or polyfunctional reagent by the manufacturer so that a small number of the starch polymer chains are chemically linked by the cross linking reagent moiety. Crosslinking partially inhibits granule swelling on gelatinization and gives increased stability to acid environments, heat treatment, and shear forces. Extremely low levels of crosslinking are effective in achieving these objectives. Crosslinking is widely used to prepare chemically-modified starches for the processed food industry.

Cross-linking. The linking together of starch chains using a chemical reagent. This strengthens the granule and reduces both the rate and the degree of granule swelling and subsequent disintegration. Thus, crosslinked starches are less sensitive to processing conditions than native starch granules.

Crystallisation. In concentrated high DE syrups glucose crystals are formed and precipitate.

Curdlan. A fermentation-produced polysaccharide as is Xanthan, and Gellan.

CWS Starch. Cold Water Soluble (CWS) Starch are made by cooking and spray drying or by alkali/alcohol technology to allow for hydration without cooking. Starches labeled instant, granular or cold water-swelling are made that way.


DE. Dextrose Equivalent expresses the number of aldehyde groups – reducing ends – relative to pure glucose of same concentration.

Degree of polymerisation [DP]. The degree of polymerization of a polymer is the average number of monomer units in the molecule. It refers to the average number of anhydroglucose units in the molecule. The abbreviations DP1, DP2 etc. refer to polymer chains where the number of anhydroglucose units is known. Abbreviations such as DP 3+ are used to denote all unknown degrees of polymerisation of 3 and above. The abbreviation Dpn is used to denote a fraction with an unkown degree of polymerization.

Dextrin. A dextrin is a granular starch with molecules reorganised by roasting causing the granules to be cold water soluble. Depending on the degree of roasting dextrins are grouped as White Dextrin, Yellow Dextrin and British gum. These products have a good film forming and adhesive properties. They are used by the food industry as coatings in the adhesive toppings and in batters and breadings.

Dextrinization. A chemical modification process in which dry starch is heated in the presence of low levels of acid to produce products with higher solubility, lower viscosity and better stability than native starches. Products of this process are called dextrins.

Dextrose. Synonym for D-glucose. Within the industry dextrose is used to describe 100 % pure glucose. Both the anhydrous and the monohydrate form is used.

Dextrose monohydrate. The crystalline form of pure a-D-glucose containing one molecule of water of crystallization. Produced from high DE syrup by crystallization under controlled cooling. The continuous vertical crystallizer has advantages, but not completely outdid the classic horizontal batch crystallizer.

Dextrose anhydrous. The crystalline form of pure D-glucose. Produced from high DE syrup by crystallization above 60 oC.

Dextrozyme. Brand name of a pullulanase and AMG mixture.

DP. Degree of Polymerisation is the average number of monosaccharides in a polymer.

Disaccaharide. Carbohydrate with two monosaccharides per molecule, e.g. sucrose, maltose. Sucrose is a disaccharide with one glucose and one fructose per molecule.

Drum-dried starch. Also known as roll-dried starch. Pregelatinized starch made by cooking and drying a starch paste on stem-heated rolls. A starch slurry or paste is deposited in a thin layer on rotating heated drums or rolls. The dried film is recmoved with a scraper then the product is ground in a mill to the desired particle size. Chemicals may be added before, during, or after drum drying.

DS. (1) Dry Substance = Dry Matter (DM). (2) Degree of Substitution.

Dusting starch. Starch powder that is applied to substrate in order to reduce or eliminate adhesion to other substrates.

DX. Dextrose.


E number. E numbers are codes for substances which can be used as food additives for use within the European Union and Switzerland (the “E” stands for “Europe”). They are commonly found on food labels throughout the European Union. Below there is a table with food starches and their E numbers.

E Number / INS Numbers

E-Number INS-Number3 Name Function (CCFAC)3
14001 Dextrins, white and yellow Stabilizer, thickener, binder
14011 Acid treated starch Stabilizer, thickener, binder
14021 Alkaline modified starch Stabilizer, thickener, binder
14031 Bleached starch Stabilizer, thickener, binder
E14042 1404 Oxidized starch Emulsifier, thickener, binder
14051 Enzyme treated starch Thickener
E14102 1410 Monostarch phosphate Stabilizer, thickener, binder
1411 Distarch glycerol Stabilizer, thickener, binder
E14122 1412 Distarch phosphate Stabilizer, thickener, binder
E14132 1413 Phosphated distarch phosphate Stabilizer, thickener, binder
E14142 1414 Acetylated distarch phosphate Emulsifier, thickener
E14202 1420 Acetylated starch, mono starch acetate Stabilizer, thickener
1421 Acetylated starch, mono starch acetate Stabilizer, thickener
E14222 1422 Acetylated distarch adipate Stabilizer, thickener, binder
1423 Acetylated distarch glycerol Stabilizer, thickener
E14402 1440 Hydroxypropyl starch Emulsifier, thickener, binder
E14422 1442 Hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate Stabilizer, thickener
1443 Hydroxypropyl distarch glycerol Stabilizer, thickener
E14502 1450 Starch sodium octenyl succinate Stabilizer, thickener, binder, emulsifier
E14512 Acetylated oxidised starch

1) Dextrin, bleached starch, starches modified by acid, alkali and enzyme or by physically treatment are not considered as food additives in the context of the EEC Directive 95/2/EC.

2) Modified starches, Annex 1 of EEC Directive No. 95/2/EC (An ingredient category)

3)CCFAC International Numbering System (INS) 1989
Enzymatic hydrolysis. This term refers to the depolymerization of starch under the action of an amylase enzyme. Enzymatic reactions have the advantage of producting highly specific distributions of glucose sugars and oligomers; they have largely superceded acid hydrolysis in the manufacture of glucose syrups and other starch hydrolysates.

Enzyme. An enzyme is one of a group of complex chemical substances produced by living organisms [e.g. bacteria, fungi] that promote and catalyse high specific chemical reactions. The breaking of the chemical bonds in starch by amylase enzymes is an example. Following groups of enzyme catalysts are used in the glucose industry mainly: Alpha-amylase for liquefaction, Amyloglucosidase for sachharification and Isomerase for conversion of glucose to fructose.

Ethylated starch. Starch, 2-hydroxyethyl ether improves coating and ink holdout. It has good film-forming and produces superior printing paper.


Flash dryer. Dryer with very fast drying action where the wet material is conveyed by the flow of hot drying air. Frequently used to dry starch.

Fluidity. Reciprocal of viscosity.

Freeze-thaw stability. The ability of a starch paste or food composition containing starch to maintain its integrity without syneresis of water when subjected to repeated thermal cycling between ambient and freezing temperatures. Freeze-thaw stability is imparted to starches substitution. Hydroxypropyl starches are particularly suitable for food applications requiring freeze-thaw stability.

Fungamyl. Brand name of fungal amylase hydrolysing 1,4-a -glucosidic linkages in formation of substantial amounts of maltose.


Gari. Gari is a processed fermented cassava food.

Gel. The semi-rigid jelly-like sol that is formed when cooked starch paste is cooled and stored at room temperature. It is usually associated with native starches and acid-thinned starches.

Gelatinize. To cook starch in aqueous suspension to the point at which swelling of the granules take place, forming a viscous sol.

Gelatinization. The destruction of molecular order and irreversible swelling of starch granules under the influence of heat and/or chemicals in an aqueous medium to give a starch paste. During the swelling process amylose tends to leach out of the starch granules and, with amylopectin, becomes hydrated. Viscosity rises and is at a peak when the granules are hydrated to their maximum extent and are in close contact with their neighbors. The granules then rupture, collapse and fragment. Polymer molecules and aggregates are released into the surrounding aqueous medium. Gelatinization is, in fact, a multi-step process from the first incipient granule swelling through to complete granule disruption and partial solubilization of the constituent polymers.

Gelatinization temperature. The temperature at which a particular starch gelatinizes to form a starch paste. This depends on starch type, the chemical environment, and several other factors. Values quoted in literature should be taken as approximate because starch gelatinizes over a finite temperature range which can be determined by viscometry, on a microscope hot stage, by observing granule crystallinity under polarized light etc etc. Each technique gives different values. Gelatinization temperature of starches can be changed by physical or chemical pretreatments. Pasting temperature and chemical gelatinization are related concepts.

Gellan. Gellan Gum is a water-soluble polysaccharide produced by Sphingomonas elodea. It is used as a food thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer. It has E number E418.

Gelling. It is used more precisely to denote the conversion of starch paste, on storage and/or cooling, from a fluid paste to a semi-solid deformable gel structure. Gelling occurs as the hydrated and dissolved linear amylose molecules in a starch paste associate to form a three dimensional network.

Genetics. A branch of biology dealing with hereditary variations in plants and animals. As an applied science, it is used to improve corn by breeding desired characteristics into new varieties.

Glucosidic cleavage. The hydrolysis of a glucose polymer whereby water is the agent, which, under acid or enzyme catalysis, acts to split apart the glucosidic bond holding adjacent glucose units together and regenerates an hydroxyl group on each glucose component.

Glucose. Glucose is a monosaccharide, C6H12O6 existing as a – and -glucose with an optical rotation of +105.2orespectively +20,3o. The synonym dextrose refers to the positive direction of rotation (dextra = right).

Glucose Syrup. Glucose syrup is a liquid starch hydrolysate of mono- di- and higher saccharides.

Glucosidic cleavage. The hydrolysis of a glucose polymer whereby water is the agent, which, under acid or enzyme catalysis, acts to split apart the glucosidic bond holding adjacent glucose units together and regenerates an hydroxyl group on each glucose component.

Granular starch. Starch are formed in plants as tiny granules preserved in starches modified at low temperatures.

Granular Instant Starch. When starch is heated in the presence of limited moisture and an organic solvent, e.g. in aqueous alcohol, the internal crystalline structural order is destroyed but the granule shape and integrity are maintained. When such a starch is dispersed in cold or warm water, swelling occurs followed by viscosity development. Granular Instant Starches have higher and more stable viscosities than conventional pregelatinized starches.

Granule (as in starch granule). The small, grain-like storage particle produced in plants, consisting of starch molecules arranged in characteristic patterns. These granules have a characteristic size and shape depending on the particular species involved. Microscopic examination may be used to identify starch type by reference to standard images of different starch granule types.

GRAS – Generally Recognizes as Safe. A classification of foods and food ingredients by the Food and Drug Administration in the USA.


Heat stability. The stability of a particular product property when the product is exposed to long or short term storage under hot conditions. Examples include the viscosity of starch paste or the color of glucose syrup.

High amylose starch. A genetic variety of starch containing over 50% amylose. Current commercial varieties contain 55%, 70% and 80% amylose. High amylose starch is highly crystalline and requires special techniques to achieve full gelatinization.

HFSS. HFSS = High Fructose Starch-based Syrup. HFSS-42 contains 42% fructose and is an all-purpose sweetener. HFSS-55 contains 55% fructose and substitutes sucrose. HFSS-90 contains 90% fructose.

Honey. Honey is a natural invert sugar. It is estimated to be approximately 25% sweeter than table sugar.

HSH. Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH), – polyglycitol syrups – are found in a variety of foods. They serve as bulk sweeteners, viscosity or bodying agents, humectants (moisture retaining ingredient), crystallization modifiers etc. just like sorbitol. HSH and sorbitol are made the same way, but from starch hydrolysates of different Dextrose Equivalent (DE) and different composition.

Humectancy. Ability of a substance to hold into moisture. Increased humectancy prevents staling in baked products and provides foods with soft, moist eating quality.

Hydrate. A molecular-water association.

Hydration. The process of the starch granule taking up and binding water as it swells when heated in water.

Hydrogenation. The chemical transformation of reducing sugars into the analagous polyol. For example transforming dextrose into sorbitol.

Hydrol. Mother liquor left by crystallisation of dextrose from glucose syrup.

Hydrolysis. Break down of starch to glucose and smaller polymers by cutting glucosidic bonds with simultaneously uptake of water. Industrial hydrolysis is a two step operation: liquefaction and saccharification.

Hydrophobic starch. Starch which has been chemically modified to give a hydrophobic character. An example is the ester starch n-Octenyl Succinate made by treating starch with n-Octenyl Succinic anhydride. This is used as a food starch e.g. for emulsion stabilization.

Hydroxyl (OH) group. A chemical radical consisting of one oxygen and one hydrogen atom.

Hygroscopic. Readily absorbing and retaining moisture.


Instantize. A physical starch modification process that produces pre-gelatinized and cold water swelling or granular starches. Instant starches when mixed with water or other liquids develop viscosity “instantly” or within minutes without heating or cooking. Examples of foods containing instant starches are instant pudding and sauce mixes.

Invert sugar. Hydrolysed sucrose.

Ion exchange. Deionization of the hydrolysate in columns of ion exchange resins.

Isomerase. Enzyme rearranging glucose into fructose. The process reaches a feasible equilibrium with 42% fructose, 53% glucose and 5% higher sugars.

Isomerisation. Restructuring of glucose to fructose.


Jet cooker. Apparatus for continuos gelatinisation of starch by direct steam injection.


Karl Kroyer. Karl Kroyer is the Danish inventor of the continuous glucose process.

Kernel. A whole grain or seed of a cereal, especially corn.


Linkage. The specific bonding arrangement by which molecules are joined to form larger molecules.

Lipophilic. Having a strong affinity for fats and oils. Lipophilic starches are used, for example, to encapsulate flavor oils and emulsify beverage flavors.

Liquefaction. Partial hydrolysis of cooked starch followed by a viscosity reduction. Depending on the catalyst the DE of the liquefied starch is 15 – 25.

Liquid sugar. Commercial syrup made by hydrolysing sucrose (invert sugar) or by inverting glucose enzymatically.

Long (texture). The textural attribute of a food product that exhibits stringiness. Examples include cheese sauce, syrups and certain pourable salad dressings.

Lysine. L.lysine is an essential amino acide made by fermentation of starch sugars.


Maize. Maize or Corn, common name for a cereal grass widely grown for food and livestock fodder.

Maltitol. Maltitol is a polyol like sorbitol.

Maltodextrin. Hydrolyzed starch products that are partially or completely soluble. They are less hydrolyzed or have higher molecular weights than corn (glucose) syrups and are more viscous. Maltodextrins are good flavor carriers and are used to provide “mouthfeel” and viscosity for many foods and beverages. Maltodextrins are classified as having a dextrose equivalent of less than 20.

Maltose. A disaccharide of glucose. -amylase is used for maltose rich syrups.

Maltose syrup. Starch syrup high in maltose, typically 45-50% in ordinary conversion syrup and 65-80% in high maltose syrup.

Mannitol. Isomer of sorbitol.

Maple syrup. Maple syrup, concentrated from the sap of maple trees, is a uniquely American product.

Micelles. The tight bundles into which linear starch molecules and the linear segments of the branched molecules are drawn together.

Millet. Millet belongs to the genera Echinochloa, Milium, Panicum, Pennisetum, and Setana all within the family Poaceae (or Gramineae).

Modification. Modification is a process, in which native starch is modified by physical and chemical means to suit various industrial applications, e.g. esterification.

Moisture content. The moisture content at which commercial starches are sold is related to the natural equilibrium moisture content of the particular starch. For example corn starch is usually supplied at 11% – 13% moisture whereas potato starch has 18% – 20% moisture. Specially-dried starches are available to meet specific requirements with moisture contents below these levels however special storage conditions and packaging are needed to avoid moisture pick-up from the atmosphere.

Molasses. Molasses, if manufactured as an end product and not as a by-product of commercial sugar production, can be a good choice of sweeteners.

Molding starch. Starch, usually with low levels of added oil, which is applied by spraying. This starch has deliberately-induced poor flow properties and therefore retains an impression. It is used as depositing medium for molded candies and gum confectionary. White mineral oil was originally used to prepare molding starch and the mineral oil-based product continues to be available. Vegetable oil-based molding starches were developed and are also available commercially.

Molecule. A unit of matter; the smallest portion of a compound that retains chemical identity with the substance in mass.

Monosaccharide. The smallest unit obtained by hydrolysis of carbohydrates, e. g. glucose, and fructose. Glucose is the monosaccharide obtained by hydrolysis of starch.

Mouthfeel. The textures and sensory attributes exhibited within the mouth upon eating. Although subjective, mouthfeel characteristics greatly impact consumer acceptability of a food product.

MSG. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is made by fermentation of starch sugars. It is also known as the “third spice”.

Mung bean. Mung bean starch has 37% amylose and produces a strong gel. Mung bean starch is the prime material for making clear starch noodles, however, it is much more expensive than tapioca starch often used as a replacement.

Mutant. An offspring different from its parent in some well marked characteristic.


Native starch. Starch recovered in the original form (i.e. unmodified by extraction from any starch-bearing material). Often used to distinguish native unmodified starch that has undergone physical or chemical modification.


Oat. Oat belongs to the genus Avena of the family Poaceae (or Gramineae).

Oligosaccharide. Carbohydrate giving 2 – 6 monosaccharides by hydrolysis.

Organoleptic properties. Those properties of a foodstuff or food ingredient that are perceived in the mouth during consumption. The properties include taste, mouthfeel, consistency, texture, chewability, stickiness etc. etc. Ideally the starch component of a food formulation should contribute no flavor at all; this is not its function. Crosslinking has a profound effect on starch paste texture; cross-linked starches generally have a short stringless consistency. Sweetness is the predominant organoleptic property of glucose syrups.

Oxidation. A chemical starch modification process. Oxidation whitens or bleaches the starch, lowers the viscosity, provides viscosity stability by minimizing retrogradation of dent starches, reduces microbial load and improves adhesive properties. Slightly oxidized starches are used by the food industry in batters and breadings, retort applications and tableting.

Oxidised starch. Granular starch with carboxyl groups introduced by oxygenation. Its performance in paper is proven, reduces linting and Improves short-fiber bonding.


Particle size. Usually expressed as a particle size distribution giving the full range particle sizes found in the sample. Particle size of soluble products recovered from solution by drying e.g. maltodextrins, or by crystallization e.g. dextrose are determined by dry sieve methods.

Pasting temperature. The temperature at which the viscosity curve produced in the Brabender viscograph leaves the baseline as the temperature rises during the initial heating process.

Peak viscosity. The highest viscosity reached during gelatinization of starch usually corresponding to the point where all the granules are swollen to occupy a high proportion of the available volume with each in contact with its immediate neighbours. May be conveniently observed on the Brabender Viscograph. Note that on cooling the starch paste, the viscosity may rise above this level, but only the initial shoulder (corn starch) or true peak (potato starch) values determined on the hot paste are termed peak viscosity..

pH. A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, pH 7 being neutral, lower values acid and higher values being alkaline.

Physically-modified starch. Starch which has been physically trated by the manufacturer without the introduction of new chemical groupings. Examples of physical modification include roll-drying, extrusion, spray drying, heat/moisture treatment, etc.

Pituitous. An undesirable textural attribute characterized by a long, stringy, snotty, discontinuous appearance usually caused by overcooked starch. An example would be uncooked egg whites.

Polymer. A very large, complex molecule formed by chemically joining a large number of identical smaller units (or monomers) in a repeating pattern.

Plantain. Banana make up the genus Musa of the family Musaceae. The plantain, or cooking banana, is classified as Musa x paradisiaca.Polyol. Polyol – polyglycitol – is a family of sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol etc. Like sorbitol, they have a wide range af applications.

Polydextrose. A randomly branched anhydroglucose polymer made by heating glucose in the presence of acid and sorbitol. It is poorly digested because of its structure and, therefore, it has a caloric value of 1Kcal/gm compared to starch of 4Kcal/gm. It is used to replace nutritive sweeteners and sometimes fats in reduce calorie, low calorie, and sugar-free foods.

Polysaccharide. Carbohydrate giving more than 6 monosaccharides by hydrolysis, e.g. amylopectin, amylose, cellulose.

Potato. Potatoes are produced by plants of the genus Solanum, of the family Solanaceae.

Potato starch. Starch from potatoes. Potato starch granules are large, extending up to about 100 u in diameter. This starch has a low gelatinization temperature and is quite sensitive to alkalis. It is a highly swellable starch giving a pronounced viscosity peak. Potato starch pastes are more resistant to retrogradation than those of corn starch.

Powdered starch. Commercial starch that has been milled and pre-sifted so that it passes through a sieve of specified size.

Precoat filtration. Hydrolysate filtration on a filter precoated with filter aid and activated carbon.

Pregelatinised. Pregelatinised starch = cooked and dried starch.

Pregelatinized starches. These are instant starches that are precooked and dried by the starch manufacturer. A roll dryer is commonly used for cooking and drying. These starches are used, for example, in instant dry mixes. They exhibit a grainier texture than cold water swelling or granular instant starches in these products.

Promozyme. Brand name of pullulanase reducing oligosaccharides after liquefaction.

Pullulanase. Pullulan 6-glucanohyrolase catalysing the hydrolysis of 1,6-alpha linkages in pullulan and amylopectin and only acts on molecules with at least two 1,4 bonds.

Pulp. The wet residue of tuber and roots after starch extraction. Pulp from potato and cassava is excelent cattle feed.


Retort. A process in which a food product is sealed in a container and subjected to very high temperatures to ensure acceptable sterilization. Retorted products are typically sealed in cans.

Retrogradation. Dehydration and reversion of cooked starch from a paste to a condition of insolubility. Or in other words: gradual irreversible insolubilization of starch paste with formation of a precipitate or gel depending on concentration. Also known as “set back”. Retrogradation is mainly due to the presence of amylose in the starch. The linear amylose molecules are attached to each other and form bundles of parallel polysaccharide chains by the formation of hydrogen bonds between hydroxyl groups on neighbouring molecules. Amylopectin having a branched structure shows little tendency to retrograde.

Rheology. The study of deformation and flow of materials. This provides scientific basis for subjective measurements such as mouthfeel, spreadability and pourability.

Rice. Rice makes up the genus Oryza of the family Poaceae (or Gramineae).

Rice syrup, brown. Brown rice syrup is an extremely versatile and relatively healthy sweetener which is derived by culturing rice with enzymes to break down the starches.

RVA. Rapid Visco Analyzer – A quick method to determine the viscosity of a starch slurry over a range of temperatures, times and shear rates.

Rye. Rye belongs to the family Poaceae (or Gramineae). It is classified as Secale cereale.


Saccharification. Hydrolysis of starch into higher DE syrups after liquefaction.

Salve (Gel). Three-dimensional network of polymer that traps water, forming a semi-solid system.

Setback. Used as a synonym for retrogradation to describe the rise in paste viscosity as a starch paste cools.

Shear. Lateral stress applied to one of the faces of a body. Encountered during the mixture of foods, shear can physically destroy a starch granule leading to loss of viscosity and undesirable textural changes. Examples of sources of shear are pumps and mixers.

Shelf life stability. Shelf life stability is defined as the maintenance of the original properties of a product as the product is stored for appropriate periods of time in varying conditions of temperature, relative humidity, incident sunlight etc. The properties to be maintained may include colour, viscosity, taste, texture, acidity, freedom from syneresis etc. A number of factors should be taken into account including high/low temperature storage, pH, flavour stability, migration of moisture and/or oil in the formulation, and finally microorganism activity and the potential for bacterial spoilage on prolonged storage under unsuitable conditions.

Short texture. The texture of a liquid composition is referred to as being “short” when it is cohesive and free from strining. It will not form filaments or threads during application. Starch gels prepared from highly crosslinked starches typically exhibit short texture. Short cuttable textures are associated with increased amylose levels in starch. Some high amylose starch hybrids have been proposed for quick setting confectionary applications which exploit the rapid setting and short texture require in these products.

Slurry. Suspension of starch in water, with or without other components of corn.

Sorbitol. D-sorbitol occurs widely in nature and is found in apples, peaches, pears, and plums. It is produced industrially by the catalytic hydrogenation of D-glucose that has been obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis of starch. Its relative sweetness compared to sucrose is between 50 and 60.

Sorghum. Sorghum makes up the genus Sorghum in the family Poaceae (or Gramineae).

Stable. Term indicates that the starch paste does not change appreciably in viscosity, clarity or texture with age.

Starch. A carbohydrate polymer occurring in granular form in the organs of certain plant species notably cereals, tubers, and pulses such as corn, wheat, rice, tapioca, potato, pea etc. The polymer consists almost exclusively of linked anhydro-D-glucose units. It may have either a mainly linear structure [amylose] or a branched structure [amylopectin]. A single plant species may exist as hybrids with various proportions of amylose and amylopectin e.g. high amylose corn. The molecular weight of the constituent polymers, particularly amylose, varies between different starch sources. All starches form more or less viscous pastes when cooked in water but there are significant differences in paste texture, viscosity and stability.

Starch derivatives. Generic term for all products produced from native starch including modified starches and starch hydrolysis products.

Starch gel. An elastic deformable mass formed from an aqueous dispersion of gelatinized starch. A starch gel has visco-elastic properties.

Starch hydrolysate. Product obtained by the acid- and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of starch consisting of a mixture of low molecular weight polysaccharides, oligosaccharides and simple sugars.

Starch paste. The thick, viscous, smooth suspension formed by cooking starch in a water suspension to a point above its gelatinization temperature.

Starch slurry. Aqueous suspension of unswollen starch granules. Synonyms are starch suspension and starch milk.

Steepwater. Water containing dissolved protein, minerals and other substances in which corn has been soaked or “steeped” during the initial stages of the corn refining process.

Sucanat. Sucanat (SUgar CAne NATural) is a brand name for organically grown, dehydrated cane juice.

Sucrose. Sucrose = ordinary sugar from cane or beet is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose. Synonyms: Saccharose, sugar.

Sugar. Sugar = white table sugar is pure sucrose.

Suspension. A heterogeneous mixture of an insoluble granular or powdered material with a fluid.

Starch. Starch; is a polymer of glucose found as a reserve in most plants. Another glucose polymer found in plants is cellulose. Compared to cellulose, starch is made up of alpha glucosidic bonds, which cause helix-shaped molecules, while cellulose build with beta glucosidic bonds giving straight molecules and a fibrous structure. In plants starch is organised in 1-140 m granules.

Starch ester. Modified starch with ester groupings like acetylated starch and starch monophosphate. Potato starch is a natural starch phosphate ester.

Starch ether. Modified starch with ether groupings like hydroxypropyl-starch, cationic starch and carboxymethyl starch.

Starch paste. The viscous colloidal mass resulting from the gelatinization of starch in water. Starch paste is not a solution but contains swollen granule remnants, dissolved amylose, and a number of intermediate species. The stability of starch pastes depends on starch type (amylose/amylopectin ratio), concentration and storage temperature among other factors.

Starch succinate. Anionic starch esterified by succinate groups. The starch may also be crosslinking.

Starch xanthate. Starch esterified by xanthate groups.

Stein-Hall. In the Stein-Hall corrugating process a carrier is prepared by gelatinising 10-20% of the starch using heat and caustic soda. The paste is diluted with water and native granular starch is then added.

Substitution. A chemical starch modification process. Chemical groups such as hydroxyl-propyl, acetyl, and octenylsuccinyl groups are added to the starch molecule. These provide improved functional properties such as improved freeze/thaw stability, viscosity stability, and higher water holding capacity.

Sucanat. Sucanat (SUgar CAne NATural) is a brand name for organically grown, dehydrated cane juice.

Sweet potato. Sweet potato belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. It is classified as Ipomoea batatas.

Sweetness. Relative sweetness is the level of perceived sweetness compared to that of pure sucrose assessed under the same conditions.

Sweetzyme. Brand name of immobilised glucose isomerase.

Syneresis. The free setting of water from a starch gel caused by retrogradation. In others words: the separation of water or fluid that disassociates or exudes from starch products or jelly due to concentration and shrinkage of a gel, which squeezes out the dispersing medium. Occurs in overcooked custard, for example.

Synthesize. To build up a compound by the union of simpler compounds or of its elements.


Tabulating starch. Corn starch has been used for years as a tabulating binder. The granules partially fuse together under the influence of the high compression forces of the tabulating machine to provide a strong tablet that is resistant to breakage in transport but with well-defined disintegration properties after ingestion.

Tapioca starch. Synonyms: manioc- and cassava starch. Tapioca starch is obtained commercially by wet milling the tuberous roots of these species. It is produced mainly in South-East Asia and is often chemically modified e.g. cross-linked and hydroxyl-propylated for food applications.

Termamyl. Brand name of heat-stable a -amylase hydrolysing 1,4-alpha-glucosidic linkages at random.

Texture. The texture of a starch paste is a function of the starch type and the presence of any physical or chemical modification. The range of texture may extend from short and cohesive which is characteristic of a cross-linked starch, or long, tacky and fluid which is typical for native potato starch pastes.

Thin-boiling starch. A modified starch which gives a lower viscosity paste than unmodified starch at the same concentration in water. Also known as acid-thinned starch.

Thinning. The reduction in molecular weight and, therefore, the viscosity of a starch using acid and/or enzymes. This process is used to produce thinned starches, maltodextrins, and corn syrups.

Total Sugar. Total sugar is high DE-dextrose syrup solidified by evaporation and subsequent instant crystallization.Vegetable oil. Cooking oils are edible oils extracted from olives, soybeans and oil seeds.


Viscometer. An apparatus or instrument designed for the measurement of the apparent viscosity of fluids.

Viscosity. A term used to denote the resistance of liquids to shear, agitation or flow. Viscosity is defined as the tangential force, which a fluid flowing in one plane exerts on an adjacent plane. A thick solution has more viscosity than a thin solution. Often used to describe the thickness of a starch paste.


Water activity.The ratio of the water vapor pressure of a product to the saturation pressure of water at the same temperature. Water activity of foodstuffs is important in determining their physical structure, handling characteristics, palatability, digestibility, and shelf life.

Waxy maize. A variety of corn, the starch content of which consists solely of branched molecules.

Waxy starch. Starch containing approximately 100% amylopectin which is obtained from certain plant sources such as corn, rice. According to the starch source the terms waxy maize starch, waxy rice starch may be used. Waxy starches are generally chemically modified to improve heat-, acid-, shear-, and freeze/thaw stability for use in food applications.

Wet milling. A process for separating corn into its component parts using a water-sulfur dioxide system.

Wheat. Wheat makes up the genus Triticum of the family Gramineae.

Wheat Starch. In EU wheat starch is an important starch.

White dextrin. Produced by gentle roasting of acidified starch.

Wort syrup. Glucose or maltose syrup used as a carbohydrate source (adjunct) in breweries for increasing capacity, adjusting protein content, taste, mouthfeel etc.


Xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a fermentation-produced polysaccharide. Xanthan is used as a viscous food additive. It is made by fermentation of glucose by Xanthomonas campestris bacterium.

Xylitol. Polyol with five hydroxyl groups. Its relative sweetness compared to sucrose is between 80 and 100.


Yam. Yams make up the genus Dioscorea of the family Dioscoreaceae.