What is MODIFIED FOOD STARCH?
It is a derivative of corn, wheat, potato, rice, or tapioc, chemically altered to disolve quickly and serve as a thickener. People who have wheat and gluten alergies should avoid products with this ingredient because it may contain gluten.
More information about MODIFIED FOOD STARCH.
There are probably more than 100 different types of starches available for use as food ingredients, and all have been tweaked in some way through various chemical or physical reactions, to make them more useful. Starches are used for thickening—pudding, gravies, etc.
Corn starch has two major components, amylose (a straight chain polymer of glucose) and amylopectin (a branched chain polymer of glucose). In nature—for example, in corn—it is found structurally in a granule. Corn starch is “sticky”. But, when you extract the starch from corn and then use it as a food ingredient, it quickly loses that stickiness when heated. And it can cause bakery products to become stale.
How food scientists modify the starch depends on how it will be used. It can be cross-linked (chemically treated to cross-link starch molecules in the granule), for example, so it swells but doesn’t fall apart. Or it can have various derivative units added to it so it doesn’t stale as easily.
I try to avoid "modified corn starch" because it doesn't meet the "rule of 1900" - that is, if a food ingredient didn't exist in 1900 as a food ingredient, it doesn't belong in my body.
But I don't use regular corn starch much, either - basically just for turkey gravy. And it's useful externally to prevent chafing.