Corn starch, cornstarch, cornflour or maize starch or maize is the starch derived from the corn (maize) grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel. Corn starch is a popular food ingredient used in thickening sauces or soups, and is used in making corn syrup and other sugars
Corn starch is used as a thickening agent in liquid-based foods (e.g., soup, sauces, gravies, custard); it is mixed-in with a lower-temperature liquid to form a paste or a slurry. It is sometimes preferred over flour because it forms a translucent mixture, rather than an opaque one. As the starch is heated, the molecular chains unravel, allowing them to collide with other starch chains to form a mesh, thickening the liquid (Starch gelatinization).
It is usually included as an anti-caking agent in powdered sugar (10X or confectioner's sugar). Baby powder often includes cornstarch among its ingredients.
Corn starch when mixed with a fluid can make a non-Newtonian fluid, e.g. adding water makes Oobleck and adding oil makes an Electrorheological fluid.
A common substitute is arrowroot, which replaces corn starch on a 1:1 ratio.
Corn starch added to a batter which coated chicken nuggets increased oil absorption and crispness after the latter stages of frying.
Corn starch can be used to manufacture bioplastics.
Corn starch is the preferred anti-stick agent on medical products made from natural latex, including condoms and medical gloves.
Food producers reduce the production cost by adding high amount of corn starch to the food, for example to cheese and yogurt. This is more common in USA where the Congress and the Department of Agriculture subsidize it and reduce its cost to the food manufacturers, to less of the actual production cost.
Corn starch is used to supply glucose to humans who have glycogen storage disease (GSD). Without this they would not thrive and thus die. Cornstarch can be used starting at age 6 – 12 months which allows feeds to be spaced and glucose fluctuations to be minimized.