Starch is the primary energy source for humans and animals because of its concentration of easily digestible complex carbohydrates and its abundance in nature (only cellulose surpasses starch as a natural organic compound).
As hydrocolloids, starches are 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, a long linear molecule with few side branches, and amylopectin, which has a branching structure, giving it different properties.
The most prevalent sources of food starches are corn, potato, wheat, tapioca and rice, with yellow dent corn is the primary crop from which we derive purified food starch for the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries in the U.S. Starch can be used in native form, pre-cooked to develop viscosity in cold water, or modified with chemical treatments. They are widely used to build viscosity in dairy products, soups, sauces and toppings, and can hold moisture and extend the shelf life of baked goods. Starches can also improve texture, aid sliceability, and prevent syneresis (liquid separation).
Starches are used as fillers, binders, and thickening agents in many industries. Admix specializes in starch mixing equipment such as our Fastfeed powder induction system, which provides a more effective alternative to conventional powder blending mixers and can disperse modified food starch at up to 165 pounds/minute.
In addition, the Rotosolver high shear mixer is excellent for incorporating starches in a batch process, while the Dynashear or Boston Shearmill can be utilized inline for continuous processing or in combination with a batch mixer. Visit our mixing equipment page for a full list of sanitary mixers