Maize starch or corn starch has chemical formula C27H48O20 and acts as a fundamental ingredient in many packaged foods and industrial products. This powder is extracted or obtained from the corn kernel and has a certain distinct appearance and feed. In its natural as well as modified form, this powder provides good texture, viscosity and certain other important properties to several types of beverages and foods. Some of these foods include microwavable goods, canned foods, certain snacks and even dry mixes. The following are some of the functional advantages of maize starch powder that you must know about.
- As a gelling and thickening agent
The main use and advantage of maize or corn starch powder is that it is widely used as a gelling and thickening agent. It is a reasonable and economical alternative to other ingredients which may become unstable at high temperatures.
- Stabilizer and binder
Another functional advantage of corn starch powder is that it works well as a binder and stabilizer. What it does is that it allows homogenous dispersion of water in food items and is hence used in salads, dressings and bakery item preparation. It also works as a binder in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Paper and textiles
In the paper and textile industry, corn starch powder is used to offer surface improvement and dry strength and helps in wet end sizing. In textile manufacturing, this powder helps to keep the yarn straight and also improves its ability to withstand the stress of weaving.
Another major functional advantage of corn starch powder is that it is completely biodegradable and thus helps in the manufacturing of biodegradable products in many industries. Bioplastics are basically those kinds of plastics which are made from the renewable origin and help to reduce the environmental impact as far as green house effect and energy consumption is concerned.
- Corn sweeteners
Another important functional advantage or use of maize starch powder is that it is used to prepare corn sweeteners. Indian origin corn starch is used as an ingredient in corn sweeteners and helps food to retain their sweet taste, moisture and also contribute to the overall texture. Some products related to corn sweeteners include glucose syrups, sorbitol, high maltose syrups, dextrose and others.
Corn starch also acts as an economical fermentation feedstock which is used to manufacture or produce several types of organic chemicals. One example of the same is ethanol which is made by fermenting sugars made from corn starch. It thereby proves to be a renewable source of fuels and offers many environmental advantages too.
- Clarity and texture
Another advantage or benefit of maize starch powder is that it aids in getting the right amount of clarity structure as well as feel in the mouth. It is thus used to get the chewiness which is offered by gums. Corn starch is also used as a moulding powder.