Going by many names such as corn flour, maize starch, or maize, corn starch is the starch derived from corn grain or wheat. Acquired from the endosperm of the kernel, corn starch is a popular food ingredient for thickening sauces or soups, and is part of the corn syrup production process, as well as the production of other sugars. It’s original use prior to 1851 was for starching laundry and other industrial uses, but it has since been used to thicken liquid-based foods when added to a lower temperature liquid to create a paste. Many prefer it to flour alone as its mixture is typically translucent as opposed to opaque. As corn starch is heated, molecular chains unravel and allow them to collide with other starch chains, forming a mesh and thickening the liquid in a process called starch gelatinization. It also functions as an anti-caking agent in powdered sugar, baby powder, and various other powdered products.
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