Corn starch, which is more commonly known as corn flour is a by-product which is received when corn is being processed for various products. It is a kind of a carbohydrate which is extracted from the endosperm of corn. It is white in colored and is available in powdered form. It is used in many household and culinary purposes and also in many industries for varied use. The main and primary use of maize starch is that it is used as a thickening agent for soups, sauces, glazes, soups, pies and casseroles etc.
Corn starch is a gluten-free product which is used as an alternative to flour thickener in several recipes. It is important to know exactly how to use corn starch so as to be able to get the best benefits out of it. The following are some of the tips and suggestions on storing and using corn starch.
How should corn starch or corn flour be used?
Starch or corn flour must be mixed into a room or cool temperature liquids and then heated to result into a thickening action. It is often preferred to flour as a thickener because of the fact that the resultant gel is transparent in texture rather than opaque. Maize starch can be used as an alternative at about half the volume of flour in any kind of a dish or recipe.
Corn flour can also be used for coating of tarts, pies and other kinds of desserts before baking them. What happens is that a thin layer of corn starch tends to mix with fruit juices and then gets thickened during the baking process. This process prevents pies and other kinds of desserts from having a runny or watery type of a texture.
For this reason, maize starch is also used as an anti-caking agent. Over a very thin layer of corn flour, shredded cheese is often coated so as to prevent it from getting clumped. The corn starch also aids the absorption of moisture from condensation and also prevents the process of developing of a slimy kind of texture.
Maize starch or corn flour must never be added straight into hot liquid as it can lead to formation of clumps. Sauces and other kinds of mixes thickened using corn starch should not be frozen as it will break down the gelatinized starch matrix and the mix will tend to become thin.
How to store corn starch?
It is very important to keep corn flour in an air tight container because corn starch absorbs moisture. In an air tight container, it will not be exposed to ambient humidity. Also, it must be kept away from extreme heat. It must be kept in a sealed container and in a dry and cool place. If stored properly, it will last indefinitely.