chain of sugar molecules linked together that serves as a form of energy storage in plants (see carbohydrate).

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
starch (verb)
transitive verb
to stiffen with or as if with starch
starch (noun)
a white odorless tasteless granular or powdery complex carbohydrate (CHO) that is the chief storage form of carbohydrate in plants, is an important foodstuff, and is used also in adhesives and sizes, in laundering, and in pharmacy and medicine - 6 10 5 x
a stiff formal manner - formality
resolute vigor
starch (Wikipedia)
Cornstarch being mixed with water
  • none
ECHA InfoCard 100.029.696
EC Number 232-679-6
RTECS number GM5090000
n -
Molar mass Variable
Appearance White powder
Density Variable
Melting point decomposes
insoluble (see starch gelatinization)
4.1788 kilocalories per gram (17.484 kJ/g) (Higher heating value)
Safety data sheet ICSC 1553
410 °C (770 °F; 683 K)
US health exposure limits (NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 15 mg/m3 (total) TWA 5 mg/m3 (resp)
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 a large number of 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.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.

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