Starch

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decomp.

Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store. It is the most important carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in such staple foods as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava.

Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odorless powder that is insoluble in cold water or alcohol. It consists of two types of molecules: the linear and helical amylose and the branched amylopectin. Depending on the plant, starch generally contains 20 to 25% amylose and 75 to 80% amylopectin.[1] Glycogen, the glucose store of animals, is a more branched version of amylopectin.

Starch is processed to produce many of the sugars in processed foods. When dissolved in warm water, it can be used as a thickening, stiffening or gluing agent, giving wheatpaste.

Contents

Name

The word "starch" is derived from Middle English sterchen, meaning to stiffen. "Amylum" is Latin for starch, from the Greek "amulon" which means "not ground at a mill". The root amyl is used in biochemistry for several compounds related to starch.

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