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Is flour a starch? Corn flour and corn starch, tapioca flour and tapioca starch, potato flour and potato starch

Updated on June 19, 2013
You prefer cereal flour or root flour for cooking?
You prefer cereal flour or root flour for cooking?

Flour or starch for cooking? Difference between flour and starch

Flour is definitely a starch. But flour is not exclusively starch. Flour contains starch. Four is prepared from cereals as well as roots. Cereals like wheat, corn, and ragi (millet) is grind to make cereal flour which is otherwise the cereal starch. Potato, tapioca and arrowroot are roots that also make flour, which is starch in disguise.

Root starches better for cooking? Root starch vs cereal or grain starch

Flour of cereals otherwise cereal starch is stuffed with fat and proteins. Flour of cereals gives a distinctive taste also. The starch or flour from arrowroot, however, does not give any special taste. It is fat free and gluten-free. Cereal starch would impart a specific taste, altering the taste of the dishes. But root starches give a plain taste, giving no specific flavor.

Cereal starch or root starch

If you prefer to use cereal starch you should add the thickening flour earlier that it goes along with the cooking. However starch prepared from roots, potato starch and arrowroot starch should be added late as it would get cooked fast. I would prefer root starch in my dishes as cereal flour or cereal starch is heavy and alters the taste of the dish.

Gluten-free flour or gluten-free starch for cooking

Use the gluten-free versions of amaranth floor, arrowroot flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, chickpea flour, corn flour, millet flour, maize flour, potato flour, soya flour, tapioca flour, and white rice flour for preparing your sauces, soups, dishes, porridges and gravies. I would recommend arrowroot for gluten-free cooking.

Corn flour starch – Corn flour and corn ctarch

Corn flour is corn starch itself. Corn flour powder is widely used in varieties of recipes. Corn flour is rich with corn starch. But corn starch separated from corn flour is exclusively starch. Flour of cereals and roots contains its starch. However starch version of the cereal or root is fully starch. Corn flour is therefore different from corn starch. Wheat flour is rich with wheat starch. Corn and wheat are cereals that can work as thickening agents in soups, dishes, porridges and several other food items. Arrowroot flour is the starch of arrowroot. Arrowroot starch is however free from fat. We use grain starch as well as root starch as thickening agents in cooking.

The best substitute for corn starch

Arrowroot starch is the best substitute for corn starch. Potato starch flour is also used instead of corn flour. Even though potato starch is also substituted for corn starch, arrowroot is found to the best substitute. Tapioca flour or tapioca starch is also substituted for corn starch and corn flour. Tapioca flour is completely gluten-free.

Potato flour or potato starch

Potato starch is different from potato flour. Potato starch is lighter than potato flour. Potato starch does not induce the hard potato taste. Potato flour has a strong flavor unlike potato starch. Potato starch is therefore more suitable in soups, porridges, dishes and sauces. Potato starch is a fine powder that has less potato flavor. Potato flour is made with potato skin, as has a thick texture.

Potato starch/starch, a substitute for wheat flour

Potato starch is better for baking purposes, compared to wheat flour. Wheat flour is thick and cannot retain moisture as lighter starches like potato starch or starch. Potato floor also gives a better taste than wheat flour.

Tapioca flour and Tapioca starch/Cassava flour and cassava starch

Even though flour and starch differs for certain cereals and roots, tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same. Tapioca flour is otherwise called as tapioca starch. It is otherwise cassava flour or cassava starch. Tapioca flour is gluten-free and has low protein content. It does not impart special taste on the gravy. Tapioca flour is therefore best for biscuit and cake recipes. Tapioca flour is preferred for biscuits as it can give a crispy nature.


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      Bona 3 years ago

      I love using this flour. One thing I found out though, is that it does thekcin when in stands. I tried making crepes with it, and it requires more liquid than the wheat flour receipe. Also, you can't make ravioli with it, it crumbles and does not have that dough consistency. If anyone has figured out solutions to these issues, I would love to know what they are.

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      Sab 5 years ago

      How to substitute the quantity of flour in a traditionnal recipe by potato starch or almont flour.

      Let's say 1 cup of flour =1cup of almont or potato starch?Could you help me I am new in the gluten free diet .


    • dhannyya profile image

      dhannyya 5 years ago

      @peachpurple..thanks for the comment..happy to see that you found the hub informative...for frying i think corn flour will work out...for example, for chicken 65 and cauliflower frying....for gravies however grain flours are not suitable

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Very informative hub about various flour. I use tapioca flour for cookies only. It is very sticky are harden easily when comes contact with water. So, corn flour is not suitable for frying food, isn't it?Voted up

    • dhannyya profile image

      dhannyya 5 years ago

      thank you Huyenchi for your appreciation...

    • huyenchi profile image

      huyenchi 5 years ago from London - Hanoi

      another vote up, thank you for describe it so clear