Acid Hydrolysis

Acid Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction caused by introducing an acid to reduce the size of starch molecules. The resulting acid thinned starch has a lower viscosity when heated than a native starch and usually gel when cooled.

Acid Stability

Acid stability refers to a starch's ability to resist changes to its properties when exposed to an acidic environment.

Acid-thinned Starch

Acid thinned starches are made by dissolving starch in a liquid then adding a diluted acid, reducing the size of the starch granules.

Agglomerated Powder

Agglomerated powders are formed when small particles are combined (either with a wet binder or by mechanically pressing) for form larger particles where the original particle is still distinguishable. This improves the product in several ways including reduced dust, improved pouring, and improved water solubility.


Amylopectin is the larger of the 2 elements that make up a starch. Amylopectin is a water-soluble polysaccharide.


Amylose is the smaller of the 2 elements that make up a starch molecule and is a linear polymer.

AP Flour

AP, or all-purpose, flour is a medium gluten flour that is perfect for general use. It can be used in several applications from bread to pastries.

Aseptic Processing

A process where a food is exposed to high heat which sterilizes it. That product is then packed in sterilized packaging in a sterile environment. This ensures a product is shelf-stable and will require no refrigeration to maintain food safety.


Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is a required, legal document for shipping LTL and FTL loads. It is a detailed document that includes information on the shipper, receiver, goods, and special instructions.

Bleached Starch

Bleached starches are made by treating starch with low levels of an oxidant that make the granules whiter without impacting its key properties including viscosity.


See Bill of Lading

Bulk Density

Bulk density is the apparent density of a powder or granular product. It can be determined based on the unpacked product or the product after packaging under specific conditions.



A chemical compound that contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Cellulose, starch, sugar, and polyols are examples of carbohydrates.

Certificate of Analysis

The certificate of analysis is the documentation that is issued by a quality assurance department stating that the product has undergone the testing required by state and federal regulations. The testing is done on each batch (or lot) so that every batch can be tracked individually.

Chemically Modified Starch

A chemically modified starch has been processed with a variety of chemicals to change its functional properties. Often this change replaces some hydroxyl groups with ester or ester groups.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is an odorless, colorless powder that is frequently used as a preservative or flavoring food additive. Citric acid was originally made from lemon juice but is now often manufactured by allowing a specific type of mold to feed on sugar.

Citric Acid (anhydrous)

Anhydrous citric acid is a specific grade of citric acid that has a moisture content of less than .05% and is at least 99.5% pure.

Citric Acid (monohydrate)

Monohydrate citric acid is a specific grade of citric acid that has a maximum moisture content of 8.8%. This may vary however in storage due to efflorescence.


See Certificate of Analysis

Cold Water Soluble Starch

A cold water soluble starch is a pregelatinized, cold water swelling, or cold water dispersible starch that will provide viscosity or thicken a food product without having to be heated. See pregelatinized starch.

Confectioner's Sugar

Confectioner's sugar is a finely ground sugar that generally contains a small amount of an anti-caking agent. This sugar dissolves quickly is often used to make icing and frosting or as a dusting sugar.

Cook-up Starch

A cook-up starch (sometimes simply a "cook-up") is a starch that does not begin to provide viscosity or thicken a food product until it has been heated or cooked. See Native Starch.

Crosslinked Starch

Crosslinked starches have been modified chemically so that some of the polymer chains are chemically linked. This reduces starch granule swelling and gives it increased acid stability and enhanced resistance to heat and shear.


Crosslinking is a process used to chemically modify starches. The process involves treating starches with a bi or polyfunctional reagent to modify the functional properties of the starch, often the swelling and viscosity properties. Crosslinking is one of the more common methods of chemically modifying starches.


Degree of Polymerization (DP)

Degree of Polymerization refers to the number of monomeric units contained in a macromolecule or polymer. The higher the degree, the larger and heavier the molecule is which generally results in a higher melting point and higher resistance to shear.


Dextrins are low weight carbohydrates produced by hydrolyzing starch or glycogen. Dextrins are used in a variety of industries. In the food industry, it is usually used as a crispness enhancer for batters and coatings.


Dextrinization is the process of converting a starch to a dextrin using heat. The resulting dextrin has a different color, taste, and smell. Crust forming on bread during baking is a perfect example of this process.


Dextrose (also known as glucose) is a sugar that is produced by breaking corn down with enzymes or acids. It often used as a sweetener or as a humectant.

Dextrose Equivalent (DE)

Dextrose equivalent (or DE) are is the measure of the amount of reducing sugars in a sugar product. Dextrose equivalent indicates the degree of polymerization since DE x DP = 120. Starch has an approximate DE of 0%, dextrins 1-13%, maltodextrins 3-20%, and pure dextrose is 100% DE.

Drum-Dried Starch

Drum dried starch is a physically modified native starch made by rolling a starch slurry through heated drums that flattens and rapidly dries the starch before being scrapped off and milled to the desired mesh size. The resulting starches have improved cold water solubility and improved shelf life.

Dusting Starch

Dusting starch is a starch powder that is applied to a food or (or a substrate) to prevent it from sticking to another food or substrate.



An emulsifier (sometimes called an emulgent or emulsifying agent) is a surfactant that when allows liquids that will normally not mix to combine into a stable solution. For food applications, this is usually used to combine oil and water for products like mayonnaise, chocolate, salad dressings, sauces, ice cream, or even margarine.

EtO Sterilization

Ethylene Oxide (or EtO) sterilization is a process where a product is placed in a sealed chamber and subjected to EtO gas for an extended period (usually 36-48 hours) which sterilizes the product. This process is used when other methods of sterilization, such as irradiation or heat, would damage or negatively impact the final product.


Flash Dryer

Flash driers are used to quickly dry a wet material or product by moving it by conveyor belt under a hot blow dryer. Starches are frequently dried using this type of machine.

Fondant Sugar

Fondant sugar is a specialty sugar that is composed of sucrose and dried glucose syrup. This sugar is combined with either water or liquid sugar to produce a smooth, pliable icing that can be shaped and molded in a variety of ways.

Freeze-Thaw Stability

Freeze-Thaw Stability refers to a starch's (or a food that contains starch) ability to maintain its integrity without splitting or syneresis of water when subjected to repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Hydroxypropyl modified starches tend to have high freeze-thaw stability and are ideal for applications where the final product may be subjected to these conditions.

Functional Native Starch

Functional native starches are starches that have been modified by physical or thermal processes to change the functional properties. These processes do not include chemical processes allowing these starches to have a "clean label".



When starch is combined with water (and usually heated) the starch begins to swell, then dissolve into the water which produces a gel. The viscosity and functional properties of this starch gel depend on the type of starch, the amount of water, and other factors.

Gelatinization Temperature

The temperature at which starches are gelatinized makes significant changes to its functional properties so it must be closely controlled.


See gelatinization.


See dextrose.

Granular Instant Starch

Granular instant starch is produced by heating a starch in an organic solvent (usually alcohol). The internal structure is destroyed with the external structure remains. This starch functions very similarly to pregelatinized starches but provides higher viscosity and more stability.

Generally Recognizes as Safe (GRAS)

Generally Recognized as Safe is a classification by the Food and Drug Administration that indicates a substance is regarded by experts as safe for its intended purpose.


H & R Flour

H & R, or hotel and restaurant, flour is an AP flour that is simply packaged for food manufacturing instead of consumer usage.


Halal means lawful or permitted and when used in reference to food dictates the dietary standards for Muslims. These standards include what may and may not be eaten, how foods are prepared, and sourced. Halal certification includes the sourcing, processing, and packaging of foods and must be supervised by an authorized certifying agency.

Heat Stability

A product's heat stability refers to its ability to maintain its properties (such as viscosity or color) when stored in hot conditions for long or short periods.

High Amylose Starch

High Amylose starch is a starch composed of 70% amylose instead of the normal ~25%. This makes the starch extremely resistant to digestion and provides several health benefits like limited blood sugar spikes and lowering cholesterol. This starch does require special processes to get the starch to fully gelatinize.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a type of glucose syrup which contains a high percentage of fructose. This sweetener is produced by converting starch to glucose, then converting some of the dextrose to fructose with specific enzymes.


Humectancy is a product's ability to hold on to moisture in storage. Higher humectancy allows bread and baked goods to maintain its soft and moist texture for longer periods.


In regards to a starch, hydration refers to the granule taking and binding to water causing it to swell when heated.


Hygroscopicity is a material's ability to absorb and release moisture from and into the surrounding air.


Invert Sugar

Invert sugar syrup is a 2 part mix of glucose and fructose made by splitting sucrose into those 2 components. Invert sugars are sweeter, have a higher resistance to crystallization, and retain moisture better than the sucrose used to produce it. Invert sugars are frequently used in confectionery and ice cream.



Kosher refers to foods that Jews are permitted to eat based on a strict set of laws as outlined in the Torah. These laws include what may and may not be eaten and how foods must be prepared. Generally kosher includes 4 categories of foods, non-kosher, meats, dairy, and pareve (or neutral). Kosher certification for food is comprehensive and must be performed by an authorized, reliable orthodox kosher agency and includes supervision of the sourcing, processing, and packaging of the products.

Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is a refined salt with crystals that are larger than typical table salt. The salt is often certified kosher, but the name comes from making meats kosher.



Lipophilic refers to the affinity of a substance to dissolve or combine with fats or oils.

Long (Texture)

A long texture refers to a food's apparent "stringiness". Typical examples of long texture include cheese sauces, syrups, and some pourable salad dressings.



Maltodextrins are hydrolyzed starch products that are used as flavor carriers and provide a pleasing mouthfeel and viscosity to foods or beverages. Maltodextrins are soluble (either partially or fully) with a dextrose equivalent of less than 20.

Modified Starch

Modified Starches are produced by physically, enzymatically, or chemically changing the properties of a starch to fit a specific use. This is generally to increase a starch's normal functions (such as thickening or stabilizing) or improve its weaknesses (such as short shelf life or low resistance to environmental changes). Modified starches may contain genetically modified ingredients, but many manufacturers produce starches that are certified non-GMO either by internal certification processes or by 3rd parties.

Moisture Content

Moisture content measures the amount of moisture contained in a product. This measurement is critical and must be strictly maintained. Higher than expected moisture contents can result in premature spoilage, reduced performance, and an increased of cost of goods when priced by weight.

Molding Starch

Molding starches are used frequently in the confectionery industry to produce molds for candy production. They absorb some moisture from the candies as they dry and can then be processed to remove any contaminants and then reused. Many molding starches are blended with an oil to help reduce adhesion to the candies and the trays.


Mouthfeel is a subjective term used to describe how a food or drink feels in a person's mouth. Mouthfeel greatly impacts a product's consumer acceptability.


Native Starch

Native starches are the most basic, purest form of starch. These starches are unmodified and produced from ingredients like wheat, corn, potato, rice, cassava or tapioca. Some manufacturers have developed proprietary blends of native starches which improves its functional properties (like thickening or moisture retention). Native starches require cooking or heating to become functional.



Oxidation is a chemical process that is used to modified starches to whiten or bleach the starch, lower viscosity function, increase adhesive function, and improve viscosity stability. These types of modified starches are ideal for batters, breading and tableting applications.



Pareve is a section of kosher foods that contain neither meat nor dairy products allowing them to be consumed with either meat or dairy meals.


The pH of a substance is the measure of its hydrogen ion concentration. The scale runs from 0 (pure acid) to 15 (pure base) and 7 is the pH measurement of neutral, pure water.

Physically Modified Starch

Physically modified starches are native starches that have been subjected to a variety of physical modification methods to improve its functional properties without chemically changing the starch. Some physical modification methods include drum drying, milling, freeze-drying, pressure-treating, and heat moisture treating. Starches that have gone through a thermal, physical modification generally produce pregelatinized or cold water swelling starches.


When starches are overcooked they can begin to breakdown and exhibit an undesirable texture that is stringy and discolored. This texture is very similar to uncooked egg whites.

Potato Starch

Potato starch (or potato flour) is extracted by crushing potatoes, releasing the starch grains. The starch is then dried into a powder. Potato starch granules are often twice the size of other starches which allows them to absorb and store significantly more water and improved textures. Since it is an extremely refined starch, it has a very low protein content allowing the cooked starch to have a neutral taste, great clarity, high binding strength, and a resistance to tearing.

Powdered Starch

Powdered starch is a starch that has been milled and then sifted so that it is a specific mesh size. Powdered sugar is made in a very similar way.

Pre-gelatinized Starches

Pregelatinized starches are starches that have been cooked, dried then milled into a powder or flake. This modification allows the starch to dissolve in cold liquids and provide viscosity without cooking.

Pulse Flour

Pulse flour is made from a specific group of grain legumes (or pulses) including chickpeas, lentils, black eye peas, and multiple varieties of beans. To be considered a pulse, the legume must be planted and harvested for dry grain. If the legumes are harvested green (such as green beans or to green peas) they are considered vegetable crops instead of pulses.


Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized (RBD)

Refined, bleached, and deodorized is the standard process used to process olives and seeds into oil. This process does remove some of the flavor and nutritional value but results in a more shelf-stable oil that has a more neutral flavor and a higher smoking point.

Resistant Starch

Resistant starches are starches that resist digestion and act much like dietary fiber. Resistant starches are sometimes nature or can be produced through several different methods. Resistant starches fall into 4 categories, RS1-RS4. RS1 - Physically indigestible starches (including seeds and grains), RS2 - Inaccessible by digestive enzymes because of starch conformation (such as green bananas). RS3 - Resistant because of starch retrogradation (such as cooled pasta). RS4 - Starches that have been chemically modified for resistance.


Retort sterilization is the process of packing pre-cooked food products in sealed containers and then subjecting those containers to high heats, ensuring the contents are sterilized. Foods that packed using this process are often shelf-stable and ready to eat.


Retrogradation occurs when a cooked, gelatinized starch begins to cool and the amylose and amylopectin chains begin to realign and rearrange into a crystalline structure that resembles the structure before cooking. This can also expel water from a product in a process called syneresis, which causes bread and other products to go stale.


Rheology is closely linked to viscosity in that it is a measure of liquids. However, rheology differs in that it measures a range instead of a single viscosity since the rheology differs depending on the force applied.


A specialized instrument used to measure how a liquid or slurry flows (rheology) in response to a force applied to it.


Sea Salt

Sea salt is produced by evaporating seawater. The process varies to produce salts of differing crystal sizes and shapes. Depending on where the seawater is procured, sea salts can vary greatly in mineral content and taste.

Set Back

See Retrogradation


Shear refers to a lateral force applied to a material. This force is often applied to a food product when it is processed through a mixer or a pump. Shear can damage starches causing it to lose viscosity and cause undesirable changes in texture.

Shelf Life Stability

Shelf life stability refers to a product's ability to maintain its properties (such as color, function, taste, texture, etc.) during storage over a given period. This takes into account several factors including storage temperature, humidity, exposure to sunlight, etc.

Short (Texture)

A short textured food is cohesive and free from stringing. These foods do not form filaments or threads when stretched and are generally indicative of crosslinked starches.


Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute. It is usually made from potato starch, but can be found in several fruits and is approximately 60% as sweet as typical table sugar.


Starch is a polysaccharide that is extracted from several sources, including corn, potato, wheat, and nearly 50 other sources. It acts as a thickening or stabilizing agent in foods and comes in 3 primary variations, native, functional native and modified, each with their own set of specific functional properties.


A subjective measure of the perceived sweetness of food in comparison to pure sucrose.


Syneresis is the process of expelling a liquid from a gel. This process is seen in many food manufacturing processes and is the cause of often unpleasant reactions. For example, syneresis is the process that occurs when meat is overcooked, drying out the product, or an emulsion to split.


Tabulating Starch

Tabulating starch is a unique starch whose granules partially fuse when subjected to extreme pressure, like the compression found in a tabulating machine. This results in a strong tablet that resists cracking and breaking but will dissolve after ingestion.

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch is made by pressing a the starchy liquid from ground cassava root. That liquid is then dried and milled into a powder that can be used as a gluten-free substitute for wheat starches. Tapioca starch has a neutral flavor and is inexpensive, but is essentially all carbs with very little nutritional value.

Textured Vegetable Protein

Textured vegetable protein is a defatted soy flour product invented by ADM in the 1960s. It is produced as a by-product of soybean oil extraction. TVP is used as a meat substitute allowing vegetarian and vegan products to be produced with similar protein contents. TVPs are available in several different forms including minced and chunked in a variety of sizes.

Thin-boiling Starch

See Acid-thinned Starch


The reduction of viscosity of a liquid or solution (often by adding acids or enzymes). In food manufacturing, this is usually referring to thinned starches, maltodextrins, or corn syrups.


Unmodified Starch

See Native Starch.



An instrument to measure the viscosity of a liquid.


Viscosity is a technical measurement for how "thick" a liquid is. A thin (or low viscosity) liquid is more like water whereas a thick (or high viscosity) liquid is more like honey. For example, water has a viscosity of 1.0016 mPa-s, olive oil is 56.2 mPa-s, and honey is between 2000 and 10,000 mPa-s.


Waxy Starch

Waxy starches are starches that almost 100% amylopectin (usually over 99%). These starches have a waxy appearance when cut, are particularly suited for waffle and wafer baking and can be produced from corn, rice, or sorghum.