Why do we need starch?

Patented in the U.S. in 1841, this product quickly took its place in our kitchens. Any stay-at-home parent will tell you why you need starch and why you can’t do without it. But do we all know about it?

Starch: what is starch?

A white (sometimes yellowish) powder, which does not dissolve in cold water, is tasteless and odorless – this is how we are used to seeing this substance. In hot water, it swells to form glue.

Chemically, starch is a natural polymer, a mixture of polysaccharides. In the gastrointestinal tract, it undergoes hydrolysis and is converted into much-needed glucose, which is easily digested by the body.

In our kitchens, there are mainly two types of starch: potato and corn. But this product can also be got from wheat, rye, and rice. Somewhere even pea starch is used.

Benefits and harms

The product refers to complex carbohydrates. Its composition includes phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and vitamin P. Thanks to such a complex of minerals, it has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, helps the kidneys to remove excess fluid from the body, and gets rid of edema.

Improves liver function and speeds up metabolism. In addition, starch reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol, and regulates blood pressure. The product also helps with ulcers, as it has strong enveloping properties.

But what about the harm? There are some. In producing the powder, sulfur dioxide is used, which, if ingested, causes nausea, vomiting, choking, and pulmonary edema.

How starch is used

In the kitchen, there is always a use for this product. To thicken gravy, remove excess moisture from biscuits, not let the filling in a pie flow – starch will do it all perfectly well. Experienced stay-at-home parents add it to the dough when baking pancakes and chebureki, molding dumplings.

By the way, the powder can be successfully used for breading meat, vegetables, and fish. Here, a delicious, crispy crust will form on top.

Those who care about gluten-free foods can use rice or cornstarch to make delicious diet dishes.

Can another product be used as a thickener? It depends on what we are cooking. Products with similar properties are agar-agar, coconut shavings, semolina, and linseed flour. By the way, you can add raw grated potatoes to the cutlets.

And for the kissel, you will not find a better thickener than starch.

However, do not forget that the product has a high energy value: as much as 300 calories per 100 grams. As we remember, starch quickly turns into glucose, and this threatens us with excess fat on the sides.

Where else is starch used?

The kitchen is not the only place where starch can be used. It is used to process fabric in the textile industry. Look at the composition of any medicine. Our acquaintance is there too. It is indispensable not only in pharmacology but also in cosmetology. A large amount of starch is used for the production of paper.

It is also needed in everyday life. Many people still remember how to boil starch in order to glue wallpaper. By the way, once our mothers regularly starchy linens. And baby powder turns out great.

There are many kinds of starch today, and each of them is useful in its own way. Apparently, this product will not leave our homes soon.

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