Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Potatoes are everywhere

Potatoes contain starch in the form of typical large oval spherical granules; their size ranges between 5 and 100 microns. Under the microscope, the granules can be seen clearly in polarized light.

Potato starch – also known as potato flour – is extracted from potatoes. The cells of the root tubers of the potato plant contain starch granules (leucoplasts). To extract the starch, the potatoes are crushed and the starch grains are released from the cells. The starch is then washed out and dried to powder. Potato starch has been produced in the same basic way for centuries – actually even the ancient Incas knew how to make potato starch.

Potatoes’ starch granules are roughly twice as big as other starch granules (tapioca or grain starches) resulting in much higher water absorption capacity and better texture. Potato starch is a very refined starch, containing minimal protein or fat. This gives the flour a clear white color, and the cooked starch typical characteristics of neutral taste, good clarity and transparency, high binding strength, long texture and a minimal tendency to foaming or yellowing of the solution.

As an additive for food processing, potato starch as well as other food starches are typically used as thickeners and stabilizers in foods such as puddings, custards, soups, sauces, gravies, pie fillings, and salad dressings, and to make noodles and pastas. Potato starch may be used in all traditional recipes replacing any other starch and in most cases giving better functionality.

Potato starch is used in many other applications such as: water binder, thickener, anticaking ingredient, bulking ingredient and gluing agent. The most popular application areas are in: the meat industry, bakeries, confectionery and dry blends.

Source: Finnamyl Ltd.

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