Potato starch

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Potato starch at 200x transmitted light


Potato starch at 200x polarized light

Polysaccharide granules obtained from the common white potato, Solanum tuberosum. Potato starch is primarily used as a thickening agent for foods in Europe while Cornstarch is more commonly use in the United States. When heated with water, potato starch forms a thick, gummy solution that becomes thinner with heating time. It thickens only slightly on cooling to forms a transparent gel that dries to a tough resilient film. Potato starch is used to size paper and textiles. It adds strength and tear resistance to paper.

Synonyms and Related Terms

farina; Arogum [Morningstar-Paisley]; Arojel P


  • Susceptible to biodeterioration.
  • Dried films become brittle with age.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Egg-shaped grains with a faint off-center dark mark (hilum).
  • Granule size = 15-100 micrometers.
  • Gelatinization temperature = 59-68 C
  • Reacts with a iodine/potassium iodide solution to give a positive purple color

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 767
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • Irving Skeist, Handbook of Adhesives, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, 1977 Comment: p. 193