Relation between starch and digestion – Interesting facts for foodies


Starch – an organic chemical found in almost also green plants and is also insoluble in water or any other solvent. It is also the primary type of dietary and digestible carbs. As a normal phenomenon, during the process of digestion, all complex molecules are broken down into simpler forms so that they can be digested. Similarly, when these molecules of starch are broken down, they are transferred into the bloodstream and reaches to the cells that need it.

The process of starch digestion is quite a complicated process and involves multiple steps that first starts in our mouth. Metabolism has got a critical role to play in our overall health. It breaks down the nutrients in the food that we eat into the purest form possible so that these could be easily absorbed. Glucose is stored in the plants in the form of starch. During the process of digestion, starch is also broken down so that it can be absorbed and used wherever required. Any nutrient that is broken down so that the body can absorb it is in the forms of – glucose, fructose, and galactose.

The Process of Digestion of Starch

As mentioned earlier, the process of digestion and starch digestion starts right from the moment we put food in our mouth. The primary purpose of this process is to break down the food into its purest of the form so that its nutrients could be easily be absorbed in the body.

The mouth to the stomach: Digestion involves two processes in the mouth. Firstly, mashing the food eaten for the micronutrients to get exposed and secondly the breakdown of the starches, that included the salivary enzyme amylase, secreted by the salivary glands. It is then that the food is passed through the esophagus to the stomach the pour swallowing action.

The intestines: It is where the primary function of digestion of starch happens. Involving many processes, the starch is broken down into the purest forms of carbohydrate first and then glucose. The pancreas gets involved and secrets a host to enzymes to aid the process and finally, the digestion process.

It is here in the small intestine that the process of absorption also begins and then sifted to the cells where they are required.

What exactly is food starch?

The existence of the use and knowledge of starch can be traced down to history. There has been extensive use of starch for various purposes, and there has been the existence of starch manufacturers in India too, since time immemorial.

Somewhere, it was used as a cosmetic additive, somewhere as pastes and means to weave clothes and somewhere eaten like in India and China.

As far as to use in foo, it is used as an additive that works as a concealer to thicken foods like gravies, custard, and even salad dressings. It is also used as sugar in many foods and drinks too. In the pharmaceutical industry, starch is widely used in the manufacture of medicines, particularly capsules as a bulk ingredient.

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