Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in many staple foods. The major sources of starch intake worldwide are the cereals (rice, wheat, and maize) and the root vegetables (potatoes and cassava). Many other starchy foods are grown, some only in specific climates, including acorns, arrowroot, arracacha, bananas, barley, breadfruit, buckwheat, canna, colacasia, katakuri, kudzu, malanga, millet, oats, oca, polynesian arrowroot, sago, sorghum, sweet potatoes, rye, taro, chestnuts, water chestnuts and yams, and many kinds of beans, such as favas, lentils, mung beans, peas, and chickpeas.
Widely used prepared foods containing starch are bread, pancakes, cereals, noodles, pasta, porridge and tortilla.
Digestive enzymes have problems digesting crystalline structures. Raw starch will digest poorly in the duodenum and small intestine, while bacterial degradation will take place mainly in the colon. When starch is cooked, the digestibility is increased. Hence, before humans started using fire, eating grains was not a very useful way to get energy.
Starch gelatinization during cake baking can be impaired by sugar competing for water, preventing gelatinization and improving texture
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