May 26, 2021

Starches: Major polysaccharide in plants

Chemically is composed of two glucan polymers, amylose, and amylopectin. These polymers are deposited in granules of different sizes, large A-, medium B- and small C-type, and shapes, as disk-like and spherical.

It provides humans with energy (4 cal per gram) and is hydrolyzed to glucose, supplying the glucose that is necessary for brain and central nervous system functioning.

Nutritionists agree that carbohydrates should be an important part of human diet. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends that the intake of total carbohydrates, including carbohydrates from starchy foods (generally in the form of tubers or root vegetables) should range from 45-60% of the total energy intake for both adults and children.

Amylose influences the packing of amylopectin into crystallites and the organization of the crystalline lamella within starch granules. This is important for properties related to water uptake as swelling and gelatinization.

Starch is used in the food industry either as food products or additives for thickening, preservation and quality enhancer in baked foods, confectioneries, pastas, soups and sauces, and mayonnaises.

Starch can be used as a food additive to control the uniformity, stability and texture of soups and sauces, to resist the gel breakdown during processing and to raise the shelf life of products.

Starch sources are numerous, with common ones derived from cereal grains such as wheat, corn, or rice. Wheat yields a cloudy, thick mixture, while cornstarch produces more clear mixtures such as gravies or sauces. Vegetables, roots and tubers, including the root of cassava, and potatoes.
Starches: Major polysaccharide in plants

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