What Is Corn Starch And What Products Have It

What Is Corn Starch And What Products Have It

We are going to go over what corn starch is and what products have it. Knowing about corn starch may seem unimportant, but for some it could mean life or death.

You can a list products that we have dissected at the bottom of this page. All of the dissected products listed on this page include corn starch on the ingredient label.

Corn Starch Basics

Corn Starch Is Made From Corn KernelsCorn starch is a natural substance found in the all mighty corn kernel. This is important for anyone with a corn allergy.  The name “corn starch” means its made from real corn. Corn has been a staple food in almost every country for thousands of years.

Corn starch is found in the endosperm of the corn kernel. The endosperm of a corn kernel is the interior of the kernel just under the outer protective layer. Another way of looking at where it is found is by thinking of popcorn. The tasty white fluff of popcorn is what hold the corn starch.

Speaking of popcorn, did you know that corn starch is naturally flammable / or combustible? This flammable starchy substance is what causes all of those little kernels to POP. So next time you are popping popcorn, just imagine all of those kernels like tiny little explosions.

Corn starch is not always flammable. The starch has a really amazing power. It can change its own physics. 

If corn kernels are attached and growing it’s stalks, the corn starch is not flammable. The water from the corn stalk is in the corn kernel and in the corn starch. Could you imagine what tragedy would happen if a corn field caught fire with a flammable substance growing?

Corn Starch Makes PopcornCorn starch turns itself into a flammable substance when it is depleted of water or dried. Funny thing is that this only happens to the corn starch, not the outer layer or the seed. You know the parts of the kernel that gets stuck in your teeth from popcorn – not flammable.

A large portion of a corn kernel is not flammable. The flammable portion of corn is limited to the actual starch.

Other Names You May Find On Products Meaning Corn Starch

You could seen corn starch listed as a product ingredient without knowing. I’m really not sure why some products change the name, but it does happen. Here are some names you could see on packaging that means corn starch. 

  • Cornstarch
  • Cornflour
  • Corn Flour
  • Maize Starch

How To Make Homemade Corn Starch

To make homemade corn starch is nearly impossible. It can be done by someone with impressive talents. Corn starch has been recorded as discovered in 1840. This was when factories were booming and people were learning how to process by machine.

If you wanted to try to make homemade corn starch, I can walk you through the process. It should at the very least result in a good home experiment.

  • First you will want to start with some dried corn kernels. If you only have corn on the cob, you will need to shuck the corn. Then separate the corn kernels from the cob.
  • Next you will need to hydrate the corn kernels. Place all of the kernels in a tub of room temperature water for about 2 days.
  • Now you will need to remove the outer layer of the kernel. The outer layer, means the yellow portion of the corn. The starch is found on the inside of each kernel. When your done you should be left with a white pastie goo. 
  • Then you will need to remove the protein. The protein is the meaty portion of the goo. You can do this by straining all of the water with a press or special straining method. This is the part that is almost impossible without a machine.
  • Now it time to remove the access water. You can do this my simply laying the starchy paste to dry, or you could possibly use a dehydrator. 
  • When the paste is completely dry, this will be your homemade corn starch.

Your Results

Don’t get too upset if your corn starch isn’t perfect. It’s nearly impossible to make at home. Remember corn dates back thousands of years and nobody made corn starch – until man made machines. I have never even heard of someone having the capability of making corn starch without a special machine.

Making corn starch is a simple process, but the actual ability to process corn starch by hand is nearly impossible. 

Is Corn Starch Bad For Your Health

Is Corn Starch Bad For Your HealthI personally love corn starch. It’s a great example of an all natural ingredient. That being said, corn starch should be eaten in reasonable portions. A similar substance would be sea salt. Of course if you eat too much sea salt, your going to be in big trouble.

I think that minimally processed foods are some of the best for our bodies. Corn starch does not have additional chemicals or unnatural additives. This gluten free ingredient is organic, vegan and somewhat of a wonder food. 

There are some concerns with dietitians about the consumption of corn starch. It is a starch, and the concern is with the actual nutritional benefits. There really are no true benefits for your body in the starch. Its pretty much a natural source of starch and carbohydrates. Carbs and starches are on the don’t eat list.

Facts are is that your body needs some carbohydrates and starches to function correctly. The name corn starch means that the natural powder is the starch from corn. Hence too much starchy foods is a bad idea. Then carbohydrates are great for energy, but no so great for our waistline.

Who Should Avoid Corn Starch

  • First of all, if the doctor told you no starch, then avoid corn starch. Your body may have too much starch or a problem digesting starch. If you want to know why you should avoid starch, please consult with your doctor.
  • People with corn allergies should not eat corn starch. The starch could be considered just dangerous to allergies. Use extra caution when handling corn starch, because it is a powder. Powders can become airborne and enter the nose, eyes, throat or skin.
  • Weight cautious dieters should avoid corn starch. This starch is loaded with carbs and aids in adding on those extra pounds. 

Who Benefit From Corn Starch In Their Diet

  • If you enjoy nourishing your body with natural ingredients – you should enjoy corn starch as one of them. There is no harm in having corn starch in small portions. The best way to get the most benefits is by eating all natural corn. The starch is in there.
  • Athletes that need to increase their carbohydrates are good examples of people that may benefit from corn starch. I have heard from many of sources that athletes often struggle with weight gain. Any corn products including corn starch can help you gain weight. Talk with your trainer or doctor about how corn products can help you gain weight naturally. Corn starch is a great natural source of carbohydrates. It’s a much better alternative to chemical weight gain.

Dangers Of Cornstarch

Dangers Of CornstarchI will always remain a big fan of cornstarch. Its a great natural ingredient. However too much of a good thing is always a bad idea. Of course there are dangers associated with cornstarch.

Well cornstarch is the starch from corn. Before it became cornstarch it was just corn. All natural corn will always be better than cornstarch. 

If you are wanting to include cornstarch in your diet, just eat regular corn. Natural corn includes all of the beneficial nutrition of corn along with small amounts of cornstarch.

Dangers Of Eating Too Much

Over eating cornstarch is really easy to do. This is especially important for those who eat raw cornstarch to satisfy cravings. Did you know that just a single teaspoon of cornstarch is equivalent to eating hundreds of corn kernels? Eating raw cornstarch will have adverse effects on your body.

It’s just unnatural, and your body has to change to digest what you are ingesting. When you eat raw cornstarch, you are ultimately overloading your body with starchy carbohydrates. As a result your sugar levels spike. Long term effects could include liver problems, sugar diseases, cardiovascular problems, blood disorders, digestion problems, or maybe even some types of cancer. 

Cornstarch is completely safe to eat in reasonable portions. A teaspoon in a recipe that serves an entire family is safe. A teaspoon eaten raw by a single person is over use. Over use is not safe long term, eventually your body will react. 

If you want to consume cornstarch, it will always be better to eat it naturally as corn. Cornstarch is a man made ingredient from corn. 

Environmental Dangers Of Cornstarch

Production of cornstarch is actually more beneficial than dangerous. Companies are now able to make biodegradable packages from cornstarch. Having a more eco friendly way to make plastics and paper outweighs the pollutants caused by production. Cornstarch production = Good things for the environment.

Scientist are developing new uses for cornstarch in our environment. Direct studies are linking cornstarch to an eco friendly bio-fuel. This incredible starch could be included in an environment friendly fuel for our cars.

There is an environmental danger connected to cornstarch. This starch is naturally flammable. Cornstarch is most dangerous at production plants. When a large concentration of the powder form of cornstarch is exposed to heat, it can explode. Therefore factory workers are at the highest risk of explosion. Of course damages from explosion include severe burns, disabilities and a violent death. This is how cornstarch is most deadly.

How Corn Starch Is Used

This versatile ingredient can be used in many industries. Sometimes these facts just amaze me. 

Foods Uses 

Corn starch can be used in a number of home cooked recipes. Most home chiefs will have corn starch on hand in their kitchen pantry. Corn starch is used when frying foods, gravies and sauces and baked foods. Some desert recipes also use corn starch.

Food manufactures also use a large amount of corn starch. Of course some food ingredients include the starch. Then there are other ways food manufactures use corn starch. 

Manufactures often use corn starch for product storage. When you purchase a package of a product, the product itself is likely dusted with corn starch. A great example of the dusting is in candy packages. If the candies were not dusted with corn starch, they would likely all stick together. 

Now manufactures are making an environmentally friendly packages with corn starch. Not all packages are made with corn starch, but some companies have started use it. As a result their packages are biodegradable. This is great!

Medical Uses

Of course the medical industry has found ways to use corn starch. Medical treatments for people that have sugar related diseases sometime include corn starch. Have you ever noticed how some rubber latex products are covered with a white powder? That powder is likely corn starch. Its used to keep latex from sticking to itself. 

Some dry medicines are also being dusted with corn starch. Medication packaging is common for items that are sold in stores to consumers. If the medications were not dusted with corn starch they would stick together. The medication would also have a shorter shelf life.

Other Uses

Moms around the world all know the best treatment for diaper rash is corn starch. The starch miraculously absorbs all of the moisture in a rash area. Baby’s are some of the top beneficiaries of corn starch. A rash on a baby bottom is very painful.

Other products manufactured with corn starch include paste, glues, paper, and fuels.

Products That Contain Cornstarch

This is a current list of all of the products that we have dissected with corn starch as an ingredient. This list will grow over time. We have listed all of the package details related to these items.

  • Antacids products made with corn starch Family Wellness Extra Strength Antacid Tablets sold by Family Dollar stores. Assorted Berry Flavors in the 96 chewable tablets package size. Calcium Carbonate is listed as the the only active ingredient. There are also 11 inactive ingredients listed in this same product. Including Adipic Acid, Corn Starch, Crospovidone, Dextrose, FD&C Blue 1 Lake, FD&C Red 40 Lake, Flavors, Magnesium Stearate, Maltodextrin, Sucrose, Talc.

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