How to make your own starch

What you will need:

What To Do:

  1. Peel and grate 3 large potatoes over the chopping board.
  2. Half fill the bowl with water.
  3. Put the grated potato into the hanky and tie it up.
  4. Dip the hanky in the water and bring it back out again. Squeeze it very hard back into the water.
  5. Keep doing this until the water is really cloudy.
  6. Leave the water in the bowl for approximately 1 hour.
  7. White powder should have settled at the bottom of the bowl.
  8. Carefully pour off as much of the clear water above the powder as you can. Leave the powder for a couple of hours to dry out. Evaporating the water off.

What Happens:

The powder you made is starch.

Why It Happens:

Plants and animals make starch as a way of storing sugars. Potatoes, barley and wheat all have large amounts of starch. When you eat foods high in starch, chemicals in your digestive juices change the starch to sugars that can be used by your body. Starch is also put onto cloth to give it weight and make it smooth. The starch you have made can be used this way while ironing.

A type of polysaccharide found in plants which is not crystalline in structure; a complex carbohydrate. In general, a pure starch has the chemical formula of (C6H10O5)n. Edible starches are broken down by the body into simple sugars (monosaccharides) before absorption.

From the BioTech Dictionary at For further information see the BioTech homenode.

Starch (?), a. [AS. stearc stark, strong, rough. See Stark.]

Stiff; precise; rigid.




© Webster 1913.

Starch, n. [From starch stiff, cf. G. starke, fr. stark strong.]

1. Chem.

A widely diffused vegetable substance found especially in seeds, bulbs, and tubers, and extracted (as from potatoes, corn, rice, etc.) as a white, glistening, granular or powdery substance, without taste or smell, and giving a very peculiar creaking sound when rubbed between the fingers. It is used as a food, in the production of commercial grape sugar, for stiffening linen in laundries, in making paste, etc.

⇒ Starch is a carbohydrate, being the typical amylose, C6H10O5, and is detected by the fine blue color given to it by free iodine. It is not fermentable as such, but is changed by diastase into dextrin and maltose, and by heating with dilute acids into dextrose. Cf. Sugar, Inulin, and Lichenin.


Fig.: A stiff, formal manner; formality.


Starch hyacinth Bot., the grape hyacinth; -- so called because the flowers have the smell of boiled starch. See under Grape.


© Webster 1913.

Starch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Starched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Starching.]

To stiffen with starch.


© Webster 1913.

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