What is Modified Food Starch? Uses, Types, Safety, and Side Effects

What is Modified Food Starch? Uses, Types, Safety, and Side Effects

What is modified food starch

Table of Contents

Modified food starch is a kind of starch that has been chemically altered in some way. That alteration generally makes them even more useful in food production than the original starch, which is still available as an ingredient on its own. In this article, we’ll talk about modified food starch, putting it into context and explaining what each different type helps with.

What is modified food starch?

Modified food starch is a starch that has been chemically changed from its natural form. Modified starches are used in foods as thickeners, gelling agents, and emulsifiers. These starches are produced by reacting the raw starch with chemicals such as acids or salts, or by physically blending the raw starch with another substance.

The starch is broken down into smaller molecules and then chemically modified to make it more useful to the food industry. The process is called “gelling” because it causes the modified starch to gel up when it comes into contact with water.

Food starches are highly desirable in the food industry because they are inexpensive, have a high water solubility, and can be easily modified to improve their functionality or stability.

What is modified food starch used for?

Modified food starch is used to improve the texture, appearance, and stability of foods. It’s a carbohydrate that is produced from corn, wheat or potatoes.

Food manufacturers commonly use modified food starch in canned foods and fillings for baked goods and other products.

Modified food starch also helps keep products moist and prevents them from getting soggy or sticky before they reach consumers. For example, it can be used as a thickener in sauces, gravies, and salad dressings. Modified food starch can also add body to processed meats such as luncheon meats and hot dogs.

Modified food starch is often used to thicken processed cheese spreads like Cheez Whiz®, which contains about 5% modified food starch along with sorbitol, propylene glycol monoester, sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous, and calcium phosphate tribasic.

What is modified food starch made from?

Modified food starch is a modified form of starch. It is produced by chemically modifying corn, potato, wheat or tapioca starches through an enzymatic process. These ingredients are then used as thickeners, stabilizers and emulsifiers in commercial food processing and manufacturing. Modified starches are usually used in combination with other ingredients such as gums and proteins to form a gel-like texture that can be used to coat foods for frying or baking. They also help prevent oil separation in processed foods like frozen pizza crusts.

Starch is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate), which means it’s made up of many individual molecules called glucose units joined together via glycosidic bonds (linkages). Starch granules are insoluble in water, but soluble in hot water producing a starchy paste when cooked. Food manufacturers use modified starches to alter the properties of their products so they have the desired texture, color or consistency for their customers’ needs

How is modified food starch made?

Modified food starch is made from corn, potato, or wheat. Corn is almost always used because it’s the cheapest and easiest to grow and process.

First, the corn is cleaned, dried, and milled into coarse particles called a meal. Then, the meal is cooked in a solution of water and chemicals such as caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) or sodium carbonate, which causes the starch granules to swell up and burst open. The resulting slurry is filtered to remove impurities and dried into a white powder.

After drying, there are two basic types of modified starch: pregelatinized and retrograded. Pregelatinized starch has already been cooked before being added to food products such as sauces or soups so that it cooks faster during heating than regular flour would — it’s also used in processed meats like hot dogs where its ability to gel makes it easier to slice without tearing apart when heated in boiling water.

Retrograded starch is cooled after cooking, which causes some of the glucose molecules that make up each grain of starch to rearrange themselves into larger chains known as amylose-amylopectin complexes; this makes it more resistant to digestion so that it takes longer for your body

Why is it modified?

The purpose of this modification is to make starch suitable for a variety of applications where native starch isn’t appropriate. It is resistant to acid & alkali, shear, high temperature, freeze/thaw, and etc, while native starch is not.

After modification, the following properties of native starch will be altered:

  1. Temperature of gelatinization
  2. Viscosity
  3. Retrogradation
  4. Gel clarity
  5. Texture
  6. Taste

What are the types of modified food starch?

Modified food starch is a type of starch that has been chemically altered to improve its performance in food products. The process used to modify the starches varies, and the different types of modified food starch include:

Acetylated Starch (ACS) – ACS is made from wheat flour or cornstarch by treating it with acetic anhydride or acetyl chloride.

Adhesive Starch – Adhesive starch is added to adhesives such as wallpaper paste to prevent them from becoming brittle and cracking when exposed to high temperatures.

Bleached Starch (BS) – Bleaching removes impurities from starches using chlorine, peroxide or oxygen bleach.

Dextrinized Starch (DS) – Dextrinized starch is a type of modified food starch that comes from corn or tapioca and has been treated with enzymes that break down the long chains into shorter ones known as dextrins.

Ethoxylated Starch (ES) – Ethoxylated starches are created by treating native starches with ethylene oxide in order to make them more water-soluble and resistant to heat damage.



Modified starches are usually white or off-white powders that are odorless. They can be in the form of whole granules (pearl starch, starch-grits) or aggregates (pearl starch, starch-grits), or even flakes, amorphous powders, or coarse particles depending on the drying method.


Cold water is insoluble (if not pre-gelatinized); hot water forms characteristic colloidal solutions with viscous properties; ethanol insoluble.

Other names for modified food starch

Modified Starch,

Hydroxypropylated Starch,

Sodium Carboxy Methyl Cellulose,

Acetylated Starch,

Hydroxypropyl Cellulose.

What are the applications of modified food starch?

In almost all starch food applications, it is used as a thickener, stabilizer, or emulsifier. There are a number of foods that contain it, including:

  • Canned food
  • Frozen prepared foods
  • Meat products: sausage, canned meat
  • Bakery: bread, cake, biscuits
  • Confectionery: soft candy, jelly, gelling candy
  • Beverage
  • Dairy desserts: yogurt, pudding, ice cream
  • Fruit pie & cream fillings
  • Gravies, dressings
  • Sauce: flavored sauce
  • Instant food: noodles
  • Soups

Is modified food starch safe?

Modified food starch is safe for most people when consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. However, this type of carbohydrate does contain calories and may cause weight gain if you eat too much of it over time. Also, be aware that some brands use very high amounts of modified food starch in their products (upwards of 25% or more) which could potentially cause digestive problems if consumed regularly in large quantities over long periods of time.


In accordance with FDA 21CFR172.892, food starch-modified may be safely used in the following applications:

  1. Hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid can be used to modify the product.
  2. Bleached
  3. Treatment with chlorine or sodium hypochlorite oxidizes
  4. Esterified
  5. Etherified
  6. Esterified and etherified by treatment
  7. Enzymes
  8. Some above combinations
  9. Others


Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 lists modified starches (E1404-E1452) as an authorized food additive in the EU as “Additives other than colors and sweeteners”.

Safety Re-evaluation in 2017

As a result of studying short- and long-term toxicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and other research, EFSA concluded in 2017 that modified starches as food additives are safe for the general population at the reported uses and levels of use and that a numerical ADI is not required.


There are 16 food grade specifications for modified starches (INS 1400, 1401, 1402, 1403, 1404, 1405, 1410, 1412, 1413, 1414, 1420, 1442, 1450, 1451).

The ADIs for 16 modified starches are all “not specific”.

What are the side effects of modified food starch?

Modified food starch is a low-calorie, low-fat thickening agent. It’s also used as a filler and bulking agent in many processed foods. The most common side effects of modified food starch include:

Allergic reactions: Some people may experience an allergic reaction to modified food starch. This is more likely to occur if the product contains wheat or corn.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another possible side effect that may be caused by eating too much-modified food starch. Diarrhea can occur as a result of consuming too much fiber or insoluble fiber, which is found in many processed foods including modified food starch.

Nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are also possible side effects of eating too much-modified food starch.

The answer is yes and no. Modified food starch is a type of modified corn starch, but it is not the only type of modified corn starch that exists.

Modified food starches are made by adding chemical or physical agents to natural starches to change their properties. For example, they may be made less sticky or more resistant to heat and water.

Modified food starches are used in a variety of foods including ice cream, pie fillings, salad dressings and sauces. They’re also used in baked goods such as breads and cakes to improve texture and volume.

Some examples include:

Modified corn starch – This type of modified food starch can be made from either waxy or amylopectin cornstarch. It’s often used in canned soups, sauces and gravies because it thickens quickly without lumps forming.

Modified potato starch – This is a form of modified food starch created by chemically converting native potato starch into waxy starches which are more readily gelatinized than native potato starches

Modified tapioca syrup – A sweetener derived from tapioca that has been chemically modified so that it functions like other

Is modified food starch Genetically Modified (GMO)?

Modified food starch is not genetically modified.

Modified food starch is produced by changing the structure of corn, potato, wheat and other plant starches to improve their cooking qualities. Starches are modified by chemical or enzyme treatment, or by controlled heating, cooling and drying.

The modification process does not involve DNA modification (i.e., it does not involve recombinant DNA technology). In other words, it does not involve the insertion of genetic material from another organism into the plant’s genome.

In addition, modified food starches do not contain any proteins that are coded for by a gene from another species of organism.

Native starch vs Modified starch

The modified starch is a starch that has been chemically altered to improve its properties. Native starches are not modified by chemical treatment.

Native starches are produced from grains, roots, tubers and legumes. The natural starch content of these foods varies widely depending on the type of food and the part of the plant being used. Some types of native starches have been used for thousands of years. Native starches are also called natural or unmodified.

Modified starch is prepared by converting native starch into a different form using chemical or physical processes. The degree to which native starches are modified determines their use in food products and their nutritional characteristics.

Is modified food starch the same as MSG?

Modified food starch is a common ingredient used in many foods, but it is not MSG.

Modified food starch is derived from corn or wheat and has been processed to remove some of its natural starch. It’s used in many foods (including breads, pastries, crackers, sauces and soups) because it helps to thicken them and adds texture. If you’re allergic to wheat, you should be aware that modified food starch can also be made from wheat (or other grains).

MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a flavor enhancer that gives certain foods a savory taste without adding any calories. It’s often added to canned vegetables, soups and sauces because it helps make them taste more like fresh versions of those foods. MSG has been linked to headaches and stomach cramps when consumed in large amounts; however, it’s safe when used in small amounts as part of a balanced diet with proper nutrition.

What are the substitutes for modified food starch?

The following are some of the substitutes for modified food starch:

Corn starch and tapioca starch: These are two types of starches that can be used as a substitute for modified food starch. They are usually found in the form of flakes or granules, which need to be cooked before being mixed in with the other ingredients.

Potato flour: This is another common alternative to modified food starch. It is made from the pulp of potatoes, which is dried and then ground into flour. It has a similar consistency to corn starch and tapioca starch.

Rice flour: Rice flour can also be used as a substitute for modified food starch. It comes in different varieties and colors depending on the type of rice used to make it. Rice flour is available at most grocery stores and is easy to find online as well.

Is modified food starch gluten free?

Modified food starch is a type of starch that is produced by treating corn, potato, or wheat with an acid or enzyme to break down the long chains of glucose into shorter chains. The resulting modified starches have different properties than unmodified starches and can be used in a variety of ways in food processing.

In order to be considered gluten-free, a product must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Because modified food starch is derived from corn, potato, or wheat, it will contain gluten if those ingredients were used in its production. If you are looking for products that are free of gluten and therefore safe for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, look for products labeled “gluten-free.”

Where to buy modified food starch?

Modified food starch is available in most health food stores and supermarkets, but if you can’t find it locally, you can order it online.

Here are some of the best places to buy modified food starch:

Amazon – Amazon has a wide selection of modified food starches, including organic varieties. You can get your hands on regular or organic cornstarch for about $10 per pound, or tapioca starch for about $18 per pound.

Grade Chemical – Grade Chemical is one reliable modified food starch supplier in China. they can supply you with much more competitive prices of modified food starch.

Frequently asked questions

Is modified food starch halal?

Yes, modified food starch is halal.

There are two versions of modified food starch: one is derived from corn, and the other is derived from wheat. The version from corn is considered halal by Islamic scholars because it does not contain any traces of pork or alcohol (which are haram).The version derived from wheat is also acceptable if it is processed in a manner that follows proper procedures for making products that do not contain alcohol or pork.

Is modified food starch kosher?

Modified food starch is kosher as long as it has been processed in a way that doesn’t involve the use of ingredients that are not kosher.

Is modified food starch natural?

Modifying food starch is a process that involves the addition of a substance to the starch, usually in order to improve its texture, consistency, or appearance. This process can be done naturally or artificially, and can involve compounds from natural sources or chemicals.

Is modified food starch vegan?

Modified food starch is not vegan. Modified food starch is derived from corn and often consists of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Modified food starches are used in the processing of many foods and products, including salad dressings, crackers, cereals and snacks.

Is modified food starch a Leavening Agent?

Modified food starch is not a leavening agent. It is a stabilizer that helps to keep the texture of a product consistent.

Modified food starch is not considered a leavening agent because it does not produce gas. Instead, this ingredient helps maintain the consistency and texture of foods by preventing crystallization in gelatin desserts and preventing oily films from forming on the surface of foods like pie crusts.

Is modified food starch a Carbohydrate?

Yes, modified food starch is a carbohydrate.

Modified food starch is a carbohydrate because it is the product of a natural substance (usually corn) that has been chemically altered to create a more digestible and absorbable form of glucose, which is the most basic form of carbohydrates.

Is modified food starch Keto?

Modified food starches are not considered Keto-friendly because they’re not low in carbs. One cup of potato starch contains 20 grams of net carbs per cup, whereas one cup of wheat flour contains about 30 grams of net carbs per cup.


First of all, you should know that there are several modified food starches on the market. In fact, one might say that there is a wide variety of modified food starches available for commercial use. Still, it seems only logical that you should seek out the modified food starch that fits your needs in terms of functionality and price. You shouldn’t just go into this purchase without knowing what you’re buying.

If you have any questions about modified food starch? please let us know it in the below comments.

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng

Sophie Feng is the author of gradechemical.com, she is the co-founder of the grade chemical network. She has been in grade chemical company since 2017, with a working knowledge of food chemical .

Recent Post:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One professional food chemical manufacturing company in China, we can supply different types of food additives, flavors fragrances, feed additives, food ingredients, and custom chemicals, etc

Fill out the form and our sales team will contact you with our best prices.

Scroll to Top

Ask for Quick Quote

We will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention to the email.