Starch is the primary energy source for humans and animals because of its concentration of easily digestible complex carbohydrates and its abundance in nature. Starch is surpassed only by cellulose as a natural organic compound. The most prevalent sources of food starches are corn, potato, wheat, tapioca and rice.
In the United States, yellow dent corn is the primary crop from which we derive purified food starch for the food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries.
Starches are hydrocolloids, high molecular weight polymers of repeating glucose units. They are the energy storage molecules of plants, found in tightly compressed granules within plant cells. The granules must be ruptured, usually by heat (cooking) to release the starch polymer for hydration. There are two principal components of plant starches, amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is a long linear molecule with few side branches. Amylopectin has a branching structure, giving it different properties.
Starches may be used in native form, or pre-cooked to develop viscosity in cold water, or modified with chemical treatments to have special properties. They are widely used to build viscosity in dairy products, soups, sauces and toppings. They can hold moisture and extend the shelf life of baked goods. Starches can also improve texture, aid sliceability, and prevent syneresis (liquid separation).
Rotosolver is excellent for incorporating starches in a batch process, while the DynaShear or Boston Shearmill can be utilized in-line for continuous processing or in combination with a batch mixer. Powder induction systems using a Fastfeed™ for rapid wetting out prior to our DynaShear or Boston Shearmill provide a more effective alternative to conventional powder blending mixers.
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