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stolly

Modified Tapioca Starch?

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What is modified tapioca starch, and how is it different from regular tapioca starch (or regular tapioca flour, which I understand are the same)? Thank you!

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From Wikipedia:

Modified starch is a food additive which is prepared by treating starch or starch granules, causing the starch to be partially degraded. Modified starch is used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, or an emulsifier. Apart from food products, modified starch is also found in pharmaceuticals.

Starches are modified for a number of reasons. Starches may be modified to increase their stability against excessive heat, acid, and freezing; to change their texture; or to lengthen or shorten gelatinization time.

A modified starch may be an instant starch which thickens and gels without heat; or a cook-up starch, such as Colflo 67, which must be cooked like regular starch.

Acid-treated starch (E1401), usually simply called "modified starch", is prepared by treating starch or starch granules with inorganic acids.

Other treatments may produce modified starch with different E numbers, such as alkaline-modified starch (E1402), bleached starch (E1403), oxidized starch (E1404), enzyme-treated starch (INS: 1405), acetylated starch (E1420), and acetylated oxidized starch (E1451).

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Regardless of which type of modification is used, nothing of organic* origin is added during the modification. The only way modified starch can have gluten is if it is from a gluten grain in the first place, such as modified wheat starch.

*I use the word "organic" here in its original chemical meaning, not the now-popular agricultural use. In this sense, a substance is either organic (based on a life form), or inorganic (no biological content).

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