Starch powder in a bowl. Chemical structure of amylose, a type of starch molecule

Starch is a polysaccharide composed of a long chain of joined glucose molecules. In simpler words, starch a long complex chain of simple sugars, which is why it is referred to as complex carbohydrates. It is the most common carbohydrate consumed by humans. It is an energy storage molecule that can release glucose (a form of sugar) when required.

Starch is found in the plant tubers of most green plants. The foods highest in starch are rice, potatoes, wheat, rice, corn, oats and barley. It is therefore found in food such as breads, cereals and pasta. Those found in whole grains or eaten raw are digested at a slower rate than most starch found in cooked foods or grounded into fine flours such as in breads.

The pure form is a white, tasteless powder. It is cheap to buy and can be added as a binding agent or thickener when added to warm water, but it is usually already found in food as a natural ingredient.  It is also used in the production of medications in the pharmaceutical industry.

Starch – Germanic roots meaning strong, stiff or strengthen. Besides its food use, it is used in paper making and sometimes used before ironing to stiffen clothes

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