We eat different foods in various forms. Have you ever wondered how the nutrients are supplied to your body from the food?

Yes! Your guess is right! Starch is present in food that supplies enough nutrients to your body. Thus, it keeps your body healthy by activating the body cells. It might not get the same glamour as vitamins or protein, but it plays a vital role in our diets. 

These complex carbohydrates, found in everything from potatoes to bread, are our body’s primary energy source.  Also, starches offer a surprising range of benefits, from keeping us feeling full to supplying essential vitamins and minerals. 

In short, starches are a dietary workhorse, and understanding their importance can help us create balanced and healthy meals. Let’s briefly study the different starches in corn, potato, and tapioca.

What are Starches?

Before examining the comparative study of the different starches present in different foods, let’s review the basics of starch. 

Starches are complex carbohydrates found in many foods. They serve as a main energy source for humans and animals. Made up of long chains of glucose molecules, starches are abundant in staple foods like grains (wheat, rice, corn), root vegetables (potatoes, yams), and legumes (beans, lentils). 

When consumed, enzymes in the body digestive system break down starches into glucose, which the body uses for fuel. Beyond energy, starches also contribute to texture and structure in foods, often used as thickeners or stabilizers in culinary applications. 

While they provide essential energy, excessive consumption of refined starches may lead to health issues like weight gain and blood sugar imbalances, emphasizing the importance of balanced food intake.

The Different Kinds of Starches in Different Foods

Starches do come in different forms depending on the food source. Here are a few types of starches present in food diversity:


Starches can be grouped by how fast our bodies use them. Rapidly digestible starches (RDS) quickly become energy like those in cooked potatoes and white bread. Slowly digestible starches (SDS) in whole grains release energy more slowly. Resistant starch (RS) is like fibre and helps digestion.

Food Sources 

Grains such as wheat, oats, and barley are packed with starches, which give us energy. Whole grains have different types of starches, like RDS, SDS, and RS. Different kinds of rice, like basmati, have less starch than short-grain rice. Beans and lentils also have starch, along with protein and fibre. 

Starches are like fuel for our bodies, providing energy when we eat them. Whole grains and legumes are good for us because they have other important stuff like fibre and protein, which help keep us healthy. So, when we eat foods like wheat, oats, barley, rice, beans, and lentils, we get energy and nutrients that our bodies need to work well.

potato starch

Beyond Grains  

Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn are full of starch. You can even use potato starch to make food thicker when you cook. Another example is tapioca, which comes from cassava root. Tapioca is a type of flour that does not have gluten, which some people can not eat. 

But tapioca flour is mostly made up of starch. Starch is like a big group of tiny sugar pieces stuck together. The enzymes in our body break down starch into sugar, giving us energy to do things. We find starch in many foods like bread, pasta, and rice. So, eating starchy foods gives us a lot of energy!

Understanding these variations can help you make various choices. Whole grains with a mix of starch types provide sustained energy, while starchy vegetables are a reliable source of complex carbohydrates and essential nutrients. Remember, moderation is key, and focus on including various starches in your diet for a balanced approach.

The Study of Corn, Potato, and Tapioca Starches

Starch is an essential carbohydrate that plays a vital role in our diet. However, there are different kinds of starches from various sources. This analysis explores the properties, applications, and nutritional profiles of three common starch sources: corn, potato, and tapioca.

Chemical Composition

Corn Starch 

It is primarily amylopectin (a branched starch) with a smaller proportion of amylose (a linear starch). This ratio influences its thickening properties.

Potato Starch 

It is composed mainly of amylopectin, similar to corn starch. However, potato starch has a larger granule size, affecting its gelling and textural properties.

Tapioca Starch 

This starch has exceptionally high amylopectin content (around 98%), making it a highly dedicated thickener.

Functional Properties


The process of starch granules absorbing water and swelling. Corn and potato starches gelatinize at relatively high temperatures (around 65°C), while tapioca starch gelatinizes at a lower temperature (around 55°C). This affects their thickening power and applications.


Cooked starches tend to crystallize and become less soluble over time, causing stalling. Corn and potato starches are more susceptible to retrogradation than tapioca starch.


The resistance of a fluid to flow. Tapioca starch forms a clear, high-viscosity gel, making it ideal for thickening sauces and puddings. Corn starch produces a cloudy gel with moderate viscosity, while potato starch creates a more opaque, viscous gel.


Food Industry 

All three starches are found to be extensively used in food applications. 

  • Corn starch – a common thickener in soups, sauces, and baked goods. 
  • Potato starch – mostly used in snacks, noodles, and gravies. 
  • Tapioca starch—Due to its high transparency and anti-freeze stability, tapioca starch is a valuable ingredient in puddings, glazes, and frozen foods.
  • tapioca starch

Non-Food Applications 

  • Corn starch – has industrial uses in adhesives, textiles, and bioplastics. 
  • Potato starch – It finds application in pharmaceuticals and biodegradable packaging. 
  • Tapioca starch is used in adhesives, plywood production, and textiles.

Nutritional Profile


All three starches are comparable in calories, providing around 350 calories per 100 grams.

Glycemic Index (GI) 

Potato starch has a high glycemic index (GI) around 85-95, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar. Tapioca starch also has a high GI, typically ranging from 70-90, causing similar quick increases in blood glucose levels. Corn starch has a moderately high GI of 70-85, which means it still raises blood sugar relatively quickly, but less so than potato or tapioca starch.


Potato starch is rich in vitamin B6, potassium, and iron. Tapioca starch offers small amounts of calcium, iron, and vitamin B6. Corn starch contains minimal micronutrients, with traces of iron and potassium. Overall, these starches are primarily used for their carbohydrate content and are low in micronutrients compared to whole foods. Adding a variety of whole foods to your diet ensures better micronutrient intake.

Choosing the Right Starch

Everyone asks what kind of starch should be selected and which varieties can be applied to the required food materials. Here is the solution that provides better clarity. 

The selection of starch depends on the desired functionality in a recipe.

For thickening sauces and gravies 

Tapioca starch excels due to its high viscosity and translucent nature.

For baking 

Corn starch can be a good choice due to its neutral flavor and ability to create a light and airy texture.

For thickening soups and stews 

Potato starch offers a good balance of thickening power and texture.

Final Words

Corn, potato, and tapioca starches have similar appearances yet distinct characteristics. Understanding their chemical composition, functional properties, and nutritional profiles empowers you to make informed choices in the kitchen and select the most suitable starch for your culinary creations. 

Ensure that variety is key for a balanced diet. Incorporating these starches strategically can improve the taste, texture, and appearance of your dishes.

In today’s competitive food industry, providing foods with authentic nutritional value is crucial. It involves maintaining high-quality standards while offering competitive prices. Angel Starch is ideal if you seek the finest quality nutrients in your food products. 

Our commitment to “Customer-Focused Innovation” has established us as one of India’s leading producers, suppliers, and exporters of specialty and modified starches. Furthermore, our registration with the Certificate of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (CAPED) further reinforces our dedication to delivering quality products and adhering to regulatory standards. This is why we are leading starch producers in India and exporting our trust and quality worldwide!

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