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Modified starch

Modified starch is a food additive which is prepared by treating starch or starch granules, causing the starch to be partially degraded. Modified starch is used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, or an emulsifier. Apart from food products, modified starch is also found in pharmaceuticals.
Starches are modified for a number of reasons. Starches may be modified to increase their stability against excessive heat, acid, and freezing; to change their texture; or to lengthen or shorten gelatinization time.
A modified starch may be an instant starch which thickens and gels without heat; or a cook-up starch, such as Colflo 67, which must be cooked like regular starch.
Modified starch is added to frozen products to prevent them from dripping when defrosted. Modified starch, bonded with phosphate, allows the starch to absorb more water and keeps the ingredients together. Modified starch acts as an emulsifier for French dressing by enveloping oil droplets and suspending them in the water. Acid-treated starch forms the shell of jelly beans. Oxidized starch increases the stickiness of batter.

Genetically modified starch

Modified starch should not be confused with genetically modified starch, which refers to starch from genetically engineered plants, which have been genetically modified to produce novel carbohydrates which might not naturally occur in the plant species being harvested. The modification in this sense refers to the genetic engineering of the plant DNA, and not the later processing or treatment of the starch or starch granules.
Genetically modified starch is of interest in the manufacture of biodegradable polymers and noncellulose feedstock in the paper industry, as well as the creation of new food additives.

 

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