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1. A naturally abundant nutrient carbohydrate, (C6H10O5)n, found chiefly in the seeds, fruits, tubers, roots, and stem pith of plants, notably in corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice, and varying widely in appearance according to source but commonly prepared as a white amorphous tasteless powder.
2. Any of various substances, such as natural starch, used to stiffen cloth, as in laundering.
3. starches Foods having a high content of starch, as rice, breads, and potatoes.
a. Stiff behavior: "Dobbs, the butler ... isn't as stiff as he used to be; Ann, my brother's new wife, has loosened up his starch a bit" (Jennifer St. Giles).
b. Vigor; mettle: "Business travel can take the starch out of the most self-assured corporate titan" (Lisa Faye Kaplan).
tr.v. starched, starch·ing, starch·es
To stiffen with starch.

[Middle English starche, substance used to stiffen cloth (sense uncertain), from sterchen, to stiffen, from Old English *stercan; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.starches - foodstuff rich in natural starch (especially potatoes, rice, bread)
food product, foodstuff - a substance that can be used or prepared for use as food
bread, breadstuff, staff of life - food made from dough of flour or meal and usually raised with yeast or baking powder and then baked
Irish potato, murphy, potato, spud, tater, white potato - an edible tuber native to South America; a staple food of Ireland
rice - grains used as food either unpolished or more often polished
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Inherent properties of tapioca starch enable its utilization as an alternative to some leading starches in the world, including corn and potato starch.
The high price of local starches as a result of the high cost of production.
Many think that the acylation of native starch from different cassava varieties will create unique functional properties of the modified starches produced, such as altered solubility, swelling power, viscosity and resistance to syneresis.
Resistant starch, in being indigestible, is different from the starches found in cakes, noodles, and white breads, which all contain easily digestible types of starches.
Modified starches refer to nutritional supplements with the indices E1400-E1451.
Acetylated, cross-linked, and pregelatinized cassava starches were produced in a single-screw extruder with different moisture contents (180, 220, and 260g/kg), different adipic acetic mixed anhydride concentrations (4, 11, and 18g/kg) and screw speeds (100, 130, and 160 rpm).
In the modern food industry, some functional food additives are commonly used, including modified starches that have high moisture-retention ability and provide the end product with the desired textures and consistencies.
Starch and its derivatives (native starches and modified starches, e.g., sodium starch glycolate) are principally used as disintegrants in pharmaceutical tablet formulations.
Amphoteric starches, could be etherified, esterified, or grafted starches which simultaneously, contain cationic groups and anionic groups.
10 -- Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Clean Label Starches Report 2014: Physically Modified Starches, Enzyme Modified Starches & Cold Water Swelling" report to their offering.