Starch Functions in Cooking

Starch is a complex carbohydrate which is insoluble in water; it is used by plants as a way to store excess glucose.

Starch are by far the most significant polysaccharide in the diet. They are are found in grains, legumes and other vegetables and some fruits in minute amounts.

Starch need to be cooked because raw starch tastes floury and is not easily digested. When starch and water are heated , the water passes through the walls of the starch granules and the granules become swollen and may burst.

This process is called gelatinization - a process in which starch, on heating , absorbs water and thickens liquids.

The major food sources of starch include grains in the form of cereal, pasta, crackers, bread and other baked goods.

Starch is used to produce food extenders and sugars syrups such as maltodextrins, glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltose and hydrogenated derivatives.

Many cooks use starch for such diverse properties as thickening gravies and soups, making a sweet pudding or dusting pastry before cooking.

For dough in breadmaking starch can be used to offset the excessive toughness caused by a strong flavour.

When added t batters for cakes, starch increases the tenderness and softness of the finished goods.

In cookies, it can help to form a tender structure, can sometimes reduce stickiness and oiliness and can bind water to give soft varieties.
Starch Functions in Cooking

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