Starch is a white or off-white, odorless, tasteless powder. It is granular organic chemical compound produced by plants. It is a polysaccharide comprising glucose monomers. The formula for starch is (C6H10O5)n.(H2O)
The simplest form of starch is amylose and amylopectin, which is a mixture of these two molecules. Natural starches consist of 10 30 % of amylase and 70 - 90 % of amylopectin. Amylose is a linear polysaccharide composed entirely of D-glucose units joined by the α-1,4glycosidic linkages. Amylopectin is a branched-chain polysaccharide composed of glucose units linked primarily by α-1,4-glycosidic bonds but with occasional α-1,6-glycosidic bonds, which are responsible for the branching.
Starch is the storage of energy. In humans and other animals, starch from plants is broken down into its constituent sugar molecules, which supply energy to the tissues. The human digestive process breaks down the starches into glucose units with the aid of enzymes, and those glucose molecules can circulate in the bloodstream as an energy source. Tillery, et al. point out an interesting example of this enzyme-catalyzed breakdown process. If you chew a piece of bread for a while, it will begin to taste sweet because of the enzymes in saliva are already beginning to break down the starch into glucose, a sugar.
The starch industry extracts and refines starches from seeds, roots and tubers, by wet grinding, washing, sieving and drying. The main commercial refined starches are cornstarch, tapioca, arrowroot, wheat, rice, and potato starches. These are natural starches, the chemically modified starch is also available in the market.
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