Form and functionality of starch.

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Starch is a macro-constituent of many foods and its properties and interactions with other constituents, particularly water and lipids, are of interest to the food industry and for human nutrition. Starch varies greatly in form and functionality between and within botanical species, which provides starches of diverse properties but can also cause problems in processing due to inconsistency of raw materials. Being able to predict functionality from knowledge of the structure, and explain how starch interacts with other major food constituents remain significant challenges in food science, nutrition, and for the starch industry generally. This paper describes our current understanding of starch structure that is relevant to its functionality in foods and nutrition. Amylose influences the packing of amylopectin into crystallites and the organization of the crystalline lamellae within granules, which is important for properties related to water uptake. Thermal properties and gel formation appear to be influenced by both amylose content and amylopectin architecture. While amylose content is likely to have an important bearing on the functional properties of starch, subtle structural variations in the molecular architecture of amylopectin introduces uncertainty into the prediction of functional properties from amylose content alone. Our ability to relate starch granule structure to suitability for a particular food manufacturing process or its nutritional qualities depends not only on knowledge of the genetic and environmental factors that control starch biosynthesis, and in turn granule morphology, but also on how the material is processed. © 2008, Elsevier Ltd.
Starch, Lipids, Water, Food, Nutrition, Digestion
Copeland, L., Blazek, J., Salman, H., & Tang, M. C. M. (2009). Form and functionality of starch. Food Hydrocolloids, 23(6), 1527-1534. doi:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2008.09.016