Cornstarch being mixed with water
  • none
ECHA InfoCard100.029.696
EC Number
  • 232-679-6
RTECS number
  • GM5090000
n -
Molar massVariable
AppearanceWhite powder
Melting pointdecomposes
insoluble (see starch gelatinization)
4.1788 kilocalories per gram (17.484 kJ/g)[2] (Higher heating value)
Safety data sheetICSC 1553
410 °C (770 °F; 683 K)
US health exposure limits (NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 15 mg/m3 (total) TWA 5 mg/m3 (resp)[3]
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references
Structure of the amylose molecule
Structure of the amylopectin molecule

Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as energy storage. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods like potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava.

Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odorless powder that is insoluble in cold water or alcohol. It consists of two types of molecules: the linear and helical amylose and the branched amylopectin. Depending on the plant, starch generally contains 20 to 25% amylose and 75 to 80% amylopectin by weight.[4] Glycogen, the glucose store of animals, is a more highly branched version of amylopectin.

In industry, starch is converted into sugars, for example by malting, and fermented to produce ethanol in the manufacture of beer, whisky and biofuel. It is processed to produce many of the sugars used in processed foods. Mixing most starches in warm water produces a paste, such as wheatpaste, which can be used as a thickening, stiffening or gluing agent. The biggest industrial non-food use of starch is as an adhesive in the papermaking process. Starch can be applied to parts of some garments before ironing, to stiffen them.


The word "starch" is from a Germanic root with the meanings "strong, stiff, strengthen, stiffen".[5] Modern German Stärke (strength) is related. The Greek term for starch, "amylon" (ἄμυλον), is also related. It provides the root amyl, which is used as a prefix for several 5-carbon compounds related to or derived from starch (e.g. amyl alcohol).

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Stärke
العربية: نشا
aragonés: Amelón
asturianu: Almidón
azərbaycanca: Nişasta
تۆرکجه: نشاسته
বাংলা: শ্বেতসার
башҡортса: Крахмал
беларуская: Крухмал
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Крухмал
български: Нишесте
bosanski: Škrob
català: Midó
čeština: Škrob
Deutsch: Stärke
eesti: Tärklis
Ελληνικά: Άμυλο
español: Almidón
Esperanto: Amelo
euskara: Almidoi
فارسی: نشاسته
français: Amidon
Frysk: Stiselmoal
Gaeilge: Stáirse
galego: Amidón
한국어: 녹말
հայերեն: Օսլա
हिन्दी: मंड
hrvatski: Škrob
Ido: Amilo
Bahasa Indonesia: Amilum
íslenska: Sterkja
italiano: Amido
עברית: עמילן
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಪಿಷ್ಟ
ქართული: სახამებელი
қазақша: Крахмал
Kiswahili: Wanga
Latina: Amylum
latviešu: Ciete
lietuvių: Krakmolas
Ligure: Ammido
Limburgs: Zètmael
lumbaart: Amed
magyar: Keményítő
македонски: Скроб
മലയാളം: അന്നജം
Bahasa Melayu: Kanji
монгол: Цардуул
Nederlands: Zetmeel
日本語: デンプン
Napulitano: Posema
norsk: Stivelse
norsk nynorsk: Stive
occitan: Amidon
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kraxmal
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਸਟਾਰਚ
polski: Skrobia
português: Amido
română: Amidon
Runa Simi: Miqu
русский: Крахмал
Scots: Stairch
shqip: Amidoni
Simple English: Starch
slovenčina: Škrob
slovenščina: Škrob
српски / srpski: Скроб
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Škrob
Sunda: Aci
suomi: Tärkkelys
svenska: Stärkelse
Tagalog: Gawgaw
татарча/tatarça: Kraxmal
Türkçe: Nişasta
українська: Крохмаль
اردو: نشاستہ
Tiếng Việt: Tinh bột
吴语: 淀粉
ייִדיש: קראכמל
粵語: 澱粉
中文: 淀粉