Botanical Name: Zea Mays
Certified organic (which is always GMO free)
Cornstarch (aka corn flour) is a carbohydrate extracted from the endosperm of corn via a process called wet milling. It is subsequently modified depending on its many different applications.
Qualities: Cornstarch is comprised of long chains of starch molecules which unravel and swell when heated in the presence of moisture and this swelling action (gelatinization) is what causes the thickening to occur. Because it only contains carbohydrates (no protein) cornstarch is a gluten free product. Due to its capacity to absorb moisture from condensation, cornstarch is often used as an anti-caking agent.
Common use: Cornstarch is used for many culinary, household, and industrial purposes. In the kitchen, cornstarch is most often used as a thickening agent for sauces, glazes, soups, casseroles, pies, and other desserts. It is is often preferred to flour as a thickener because the resulting gel is transparent rather than opaque, is relatively flavorless, and provides roughly two times the thickening power. In order to avoid any clumping, corn starch should first be mixed into a room temperature liquid and then brought to a full boil before cooling in order to allow its complete thickening action.
In contrast to Tapioca starch, Cornstarch should not be frozen as freezing will break down the gelatinized starch matrix and the mixture will become thin after thawing.
Some of the many other uses for Cornstarch range from the manufacture of bioplastics, use as a stain and mildew remover, as a cure for skin irritations and fungus or as deodorant, to making finger paint and fixing squeaky floorboards.
Substitute: Arrowroot powder has similar qualities and can replace Cornstarch on a 1:1 ratio
Storage: Because cornstarch absorbs moisture, it is critical to keep it in an air-tight container where it will not be exposed to ambient humidity. Store in a sealed container and in a cool, dry place. When stored properly, cornstarch will last indefinitely.
Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This product has been packaged in the same facility as peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, and other potential allergens.