Corn Starch production in India is very fragmented since there are a large variety of producers or manufacturers with different production capacities. The main raw material for the same is maize but to a small extent, some other materials and used and they include rice, potato and tapioca. The key products or derivatives which are hence obtained include modified starches, syrups, sweeteners, corn germ and others. The main demand for starches arises from textile, paper and construction industries besides the pharmaceutical industry. The use of these derivatives in the food industry is growing but not at a very fast pace, however, there is a lot of potential for the corn starch processing industry that remains untapped.
The main reason why the good potential for corn starch in India remains untapped is because there is a legal restriction related to the use of modified starches in the country. India has an abundant supply of maize as well as the other raw materials that are used in the processing or production. This is why raw materials needed for the growth of the industry is not the issue that has to be tackled. The annual maize or corn production in India is around 21 million tonne. The main percentage of maize produced is used in its unprocessed form and only a small portion goes into use for corn starch production.
Another use for which maize is used in India is for corn flour production which is used as a texture enhancer in many foods and beverages. Based on extensive research works and reports over a span of 30 years, it is estimated that Indian starch sector is undergoing a structural change which will result in a rise in the production of corn starch.
The main process which is used in the corn starch processing is corn wet milling. Inspite of the fact that very small percentage of corn is used for corn starch production, the starch processing industry is one of the top 5 processing industries in the country. It is one of the few industries that have a development period of more than 15 years behind it. The growth of corn starch processing industry can be gauged from the very fact that about 40% of all the manufacturing companies involved in starch processing are new entrants to the field.
As far as the global corn starch processing industry is concerned, India still remains a nascent manufacturing unit and market. There are some major players like HL Agro, bulk corn starch producer & supplier and are helping the industry in slowly yet steadily rising up to international standards. However, the corn starch processing industry still has to go a long way to go to be in the league of the other major corn starch processing countries. A few reasons for dampened growth include volatile raw material supply, the competitive need for bioenergy as well as the relationship between oil prices and agricultural raw materials.