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You Ask, I Answer: Modified Corn Starch

What do you think of (modified) corn starch showing up on ingredient lists?

I know high fructose corn syrup is extremely concentrated in sugar and causes insulin spikes making one more prone to hunger/consuming more calories… what about corn starch?

I see this in a lot of foods and in Asian cuisine it’s used as a thickener in a lot of sauces.

– “Jenninat0r”
Via the blog

Modified cornstarch is basically an inexpensive way to keep tabs on moisture levels in a variety of foods.

It is mainly used as a gelling agent, as well as to ensure correct textures in foods that are frozen and then microwaved.

You will also generally spot it in fat-free (or reduced fat) dairy products as a thickening agent.

From a nutritional standpoint, it is harmless and, really, a “non issue.”

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6 Comments

  1. Danielle said on September 1st, 2008

    Thanks for explaining corn starch… I was definitely mislead!

  2. Kristin said on September 2nd, 2008

    I was actually wondering about that this weekend. I think it is the word “modified” scares us.

  3. Andy Bellatti said on September 2nd, 2008

    Kristin,

    Indeed! In this case, it means that the properties of standard corn starch are modified.

    Since cornstarch in and of itself is not packed with nutrients, modifying it does not have any nutritional impact.

    Although food processing can strip away nutrition in many cases, it isn’t cause for concern 100 percent of the time.

  4. Anonymous said on October 9th, 2008

    My dietician at the gym said that Modified corn starch is not good because it is a strong “binding” agent and can cause constipation-
    In cheerios, it has modified corn starch as its 2nd ingredient and has an impact on toddlers- many of which eat a lot of cheerios cereal. And, a lot have constipation problems.

  5. Anonymous said on October 29th, 2008

    I would like to know if cornstarch is a “safe” alternative to “Waxy Maize” for carb loading during and after weight training?

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