Are Corn Starch and Corn Flour the same?

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Cornstarch, also known as Corn flour is a starch derived from corn. It is a fine, powdery starch that is produced from ground corn. Cornstarch is essentially made from the endosperm of the corn, which makes up most of the corn kernels. It is produced by grinding the endosperm of corn kernels (properly washed and dried) until it reaches a fine, chalky state. Cornstarch should not be confused with cornmeal. Cornmeal is a thicker and coarser type of ground corn which uses the whole corn kernel. It cannot be used as an alternative to Cornstarch in the recipes. 


What is the history behind Cornstarch?

In 1840, Cornstarch was invented by Thomas Kingsford, while he was working as the superintendent of a wheat starch factory in New Jersey. Mr Kingsford  formulated a process of making  Cornstarch powder by  manual grinding of  corn kernels. Until 1850, Cornstarch was not considered edible and  was primarily used for starching laundry and  industrial purposes


What are the uses of Cornstarch?

  • Cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening agent for stews, sauces, gravies  and curry dishes. It usually forms unappetizing clumps when mixed in hot water. It thickens quite easily and quickly thus giving a clear sauce after cooking, instead of an opaque one. If a mixture thickened with Cornstarch is cooked for an extended period or whisked too forcefully, it can break in white scums. Tapioca and Arrowroot are both considered to be good substitutes for Cornstarch.
  • Cornstarch is a key ingredient in biodegradable plastic production.
  • Cornstarch is  mixed with sugar to make powdered sugar often used for cake icing.
  •  Cornstarch acts as a binding agent in puddings and desserts. A simple pudding can be made with milk, sugar and Cornstarch
  • Cornstarch based baby powder is preferred as it has never demonstrated a potential toxicity in comparison to the more traditional talc-based variety, as talc causes skin allergies.
  • Cornstarch is also added in many baked  recipes.   It is often used in combination with flour. Since it is gluten free, Cornstarch helps to add some structure to the baked goods while increasing its tenderness. It often finds an appearance in shortbread recipes where bakers look for a crumbly and tender texture in their finished products.
  •  Cornstarch is added in small quantity to all purpose flour as a substitute for cake flour.
  • Cornstarch is  included in batters where it contributes a lighter crust after frying.
  • Cornstarch is used to remove foul odors like shoe insoles.
  • Cornstarch is often utilized  to polish silverware and clean cooking ware.
  • It is used to relieve insect bite itch and reduce You do not have access to view this node.


What are the side effects of Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is known to be non-nutritive. Eating Cornstarch in extreme quantities can be dangerous and lead to serious health issues.

  • Excessive consumption can result in weight gain and give rise to bad body odour.
  • Cornstarch is messy and can cause anaemia and constipation too.
  • Cornstarch can also cause Amylophagia, a disorder that makes patients crave for large amounts of non-nutritive substances such as chalk and clay. Amylophagia usually affects women during pregnancy more than any other demographic.
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