Cornflour & Starches

Small quantities of various starches are commonly used in biscuit making.

Starches are derived from a number of sources. In the case of cereals the starch is washed away from the protein and is then reclaimed. Wheat and maize starches are made in this way. Maize starch is commonly called cornflour or corn starch. Starch is also obtained from potatoes, arrowroot and cassava (tapioca), all of these are plants with swollen stems or roots from which the starch is extracted.

Starches are used in biscuits principally to reduce the strength of the wheat flour and thus to produce a softer texture in the baked product.

The starch industry also produces a large number of speciality, modified starches. The starch may be pre-gelatinised or treated to give it useful properties for special applications. Most of the speciality starches are derived from corn starch.

Starches are usually delivered in bags to the biscuit industry. In cool dry conditions they are very stable and have a long shelf life.