Potato is a root tuber that contains leucoplasts inside its cells. These leucoplasts are nothing but grains of starch. When the potatoes are mashed, the grains of starch are released and are extracted to obtain potato starch, which is available in the form of a white powder that has moderately large grains that are spherical in shape. Sometimes, it can be found in liquid form as well. It is rich in carbohydrates and has very little amounts of fat or proteins. Phosphorous is one of its major mineral constituents.
For the manufacture of potato starch, potatoes with high starch content are selected. The starch is used as a thickening agent and is added to food products for increasing the viscosity. It is a good substitute for other thickeners such as wheat flour, as it is gluten-free. However, dishes in which it has been added as a thickening agent, should not be boiled. It is used in the manufacturing of potato bread. Not only this, it is used in the manufacturing of certain environment-friendly products as well.
Potato Starch Nutrition Facts
Potato starch is widely used to prepare noodles, potato fries, soups, hot dog, sauces, bakery products, etc. Not only this, the uses of potato starch extend beyond the kitchen as well! It is used in manufacturing adhesives used in textile and paper industries. An interesting erstwhile use of potato starch was in the process of developing photographic prints, pioneered by the Lumiere brothers. So, now that we are aware of its many uses, let us try to understand how beneficial this really is, and for that we need to know about its nutritional value.
If we try to analyze the nutritional value of potato starch, then we find that 1 tablespoon of the starch contains approximately 40 calories. As mentioned earlier, it is pure carbohydrate and has negligible amounts of dietary fibers, fats and proteins. To know more about its nutritional value, refer to the table given below.
Note that the values given in the table are with respect to 100 g of potato starch.
Nutrient Quantity in grams Carbohydrates 88.1 Fats 0.3 Proteins 0.2 Dietary Fiber 0.8 Moisture 11.2 Mineral Quantity in milligrams Sodium 4 Potassium 33 Calcium 30 Phosphorous 64 Magnesium 6 Iron 1.3 Nickel 4 Copper 0.13 Zinc 0.16 In addition to this, it helps to know that every 100 g of potato starch gives you 1505 kJ of energy, which means that it is high in energy content. However, it is free from cholesterol and this makes it a healthy choice for breads and baked products. Some people tend to get confused between potato starch and potato flour, and think that both are the same. However, this is not true because potato starch is obtained from the starch cells present inside the potato tuber, while potato flour is obtained by drying the potato and then grinding it. The distinct smell of potato that is present in potato flour, distinguishes it from the starch. Also, potato flour is heavier than potato starch. Starch and flour made from potato is preferred by people who are allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat and wheat flour.
Potato starch has been proven to be a good raw material for manufacturing eco-friendly products as well. Along with materials such as cornstarch and paper, it is being used to manufacture “bioplastic”, a plastic-like substance which used to make bags, cutlery and a host of other useful products. So, you see that even if it is not rich in nutrients, this versatile commodity is a favorite for its many and varied uses.