What Does Cornstarch Taste Like | Is it Healthy or Bad For You

by Mousumi Mukherjee
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Do you like restaurant foods a lot, especially thickened soups, crispy nuggets, shiny & translucent silky sauces, etc. & want to make them at home? Then, all you need is cornstarch. When mixed with any sauce or soup, this grain starch gives you a more thickened form of it, which will definitely be inviting to your palate. Cornstarch, when scattered over any nuggets or other food item & fried, will give us a crispy, savoury & mouthwatering dish. Now, you may wonder- what does cornstarch taste like? And, is cornstarch healthy to eat? Okay! We will answer all of your questions & will elucidate every detail of this grain starch. So, let’s start:

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What Is Cornstarch?

What Is Cornstarch
What Is Cornstarch

It is a kind of grain starch granule, which is of medium size & gets thickened when it is cooked at a high temperature. In fact, a higher temperature is required for cooking it than cooking root starches. Nevertheless, once it attains that temperature, it gets thickened within no time. Cornstarch being pure starch acts as a good thickener than other flours such as wheat flour. 

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What Does Cornstarch Do?

What Does Cornstarch Do
What Does Cornstarch Do

Since cornstarch is made of endosperm, that is, the starchy parts of the corn kernels, it does the work of a thickening agent when making any food like gravies, sauces, casseroles, marinades & soups. Also, it is used for making crispies like crispy chicken nuggets, crispy chops, etc.

Besides these, cornstarch can be used for many other purposes outside the kitchen. Want to know what cornstarch uses? Well! When mixed with a few dips of water, cornstarch acts as a remedy for skin irritation or itchiness & for soothing sunburns. 

Moreover, the moisture-absorbing property of this grain starch makes it a natural deodorant that will decrease any sweat or odour in your body. You just have to mix it with the proper quantity of coconut oil & baking soda & heat it for getting the effect.

Apply the mixture to your body when it gets to normal temperature. Furthermore, cornstarch can also be used as a shampoo or to create matte nail polish. It also acts as an ingredient for preparing the mixture of milk bath & prevents athlete’s foot. 

Again, cornstarch’s feature of preventing friction between two bodies helps reduce any chafing between your thighs. Apart from that, cornstarch assists in detangling any hair knot & are also applied for getting relief at the area where a bug bites. 

Additionally, this starch is also useful for many other applications like providing relief to a blister, polishing silverware, ironing, and increasing the grip of a tennis racquet & other sports equipment.

Moreover, it helps remove stains, freshen carpet, clean stuffed fabrics, remove grease spatter from cemented walls, give pet animals a dry bath, etc. 

Is Cornstarch Healthy?

No, cornstarch can’t be considered healthy as it has high calories as well as carbohydrates & low essential nutrients such as vitamins, fibers, minerals & proteins. Wanna know the ingredients in cornstarch?

128 gm (1 cup) of cornstarch comprises 488 calories, 117 gm of carbohydrates & 0.5 gm of protein. Also, it has 1 gm of fiber, 7 per cent of copper (DV) & 7 per cent of selenium (DV). Apart from that, 3 per cent of iron (DV) & 3 per cent of manganese (DV) are also present in it. 

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Is Eating Corn Starch Bad For You?

So, is cornstarch good for you? Of course, our answer will be ‘No’. Eating corn starch is really bad for you if you intake it daily or in large amounts. This is because it may impact your health negatively. The health problems or side effects caused by cornstarch are:

Your Blood Sugar Level May Get Increased:

With the carbs & glycemic index being high in cornstarch & the fiber content is low, the process of absorption of sugar within your bloodstream becomes fast. And, because of it, your body very quickly digests cornstarch once you consume it. The result is clear! Your blood sugar level gets spiked. 

Your Heart Health May Get Affected:

Cornstarch being a refined carb, goes through extensive processing. This processing strips the nutrients out of it. So, as per studies, regular consumption of cornstarch may adversely impact your heart health.

Research says that diets (such as cornstarch) full of refined carbs & high glycemic index possess a chance of giving you coronary heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, increased blood pressure & obesity. 

Some other studies assert that diets that are high in the glycemic index may increase your triglyceride or insulin levels. It may also lower the HDL levels (good cholesterol levels), putting us at risk for heart disease.

Though these studies warn about the impact of cornstarch on human heart health, no proof regarding this has been found till now. 

Your Body Nutrients Level Will Lower Down:

Our body needs all different nutrients for keeping us healthy. Where a well-balanced diet gives you all kinds of essential nutrients to your body, cornstarch only adds calories & carbs to your body & not any other nutrition.

Yes, consuming more quantity of cornstarch indeed gives our body some proportion of micronutrients such as copper, selenium, etc.

But, you can give proper nutrition to your body by pairing cornstarch with different nutrient-rich dishes without consuming it separately. Apply brain & pair this grain starch with those dishes that will help you attain a balanced diet. 

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What Is Cornstarch Made Of?

It is mainly made of corn kernels after removing the outer bran of the corn & its germ. The left-behind starch-rich product (cornstarch)consists of carbs & is full of calories.

But, other nutrients such as protein, fiber, copper, selenium, iron & manganese are also present in negligible quantities within cornstarch. 

Why Do People Eat Corn Starch?

People eat this grain starch as this grain starch has to be used along with other dishes for thickening those dishes. Be it chilli sauce, hot & sour soup, baked beans, or others, the credit for the thickening of those dishes goes to cornstarch.

Cornstarch also makes various food items crispy when used over them before frying them. So, if people like to eat thickened dishes or crispy succulent food items, they have no option but to consume cornstarch as it is used for making these food items or dishes. 

Hence, people eat cornstarch not for nutrition or health benefit as it neither possesses any nutrition nor any health benefit. They eat it for taste- of course, for the succulent taste of the food & not for the taste of the cornstarch.

This is because corn starch doesn’t have any taste as such. It is neither sweet nor bitter. In fact, its taste can be called neutral. 

Does Cornstarch Have Gluten?

No, cornstarch doesn’t possess gluten. Since corn is a grain that is gluten-free & is prepared without the help of any other ingredients, cornstarch is also so. Hence, you can say that 100 per cent pure cornstarch never has gluten. 

Can You Eat Cornstarch Raw?

No, cornstarch must never be eaten raw. But, it is safe to eat it by mixing it with other dishes, though in small amounts. Just heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch on the stovetop/oven & mix it in the desired food item you would like to eat in a thickened form. For creating a slurry, you need to mix this grain starch with cold water.

Does Cornstarch Make You Gain Weight?

Cornstarch is a kind of starch & comprises hundred per cent carbohydrates. It’s used in various foods, just like the usage of sugar. As all the carbohydrates leaves, no unexpected weight gain happens with this grain starch if consumed in a normal proportion.

However, just as normal sugars get digested very quickly & change your glucose levels leading to your hunger, so is cornstarch. And, if instead of eating in a balanced way, you start overeating it due to your hunger, you will obviously gain weight. Otherwise, cornstarch never helps you to attain weight. 

Wrapping Up

So, what does cornstarch taste like? Well! It doesn’t have any unique taste as such as it is a thickening agent & not made for imparting taste to any food. However, if explained in detail, cornstarch’s taste is neutral and neither sweet nor bitter. And, its high calories & carbs & low nutrition content prevent us from considering it as a healthy food option. Still, if you want to use it for thickening any dish or to make any crispy food item, use it in a limited quantity & not daily. Then, your health will not get disturbed due to its consumption & you will also be able to enjoy its benefit occasionally. 

FAQs

Q.1. Does cornstarch have a taste?

Answer: No, cornstarch is usually flavourless & its function is to add texture rather than adding taste to a dish. It’s a tasteless powder whose function is to thicken a dish or make it crispy when fried. 

Q.2. Why do people eat cornstarch?

Answer: People don’t eat cornstarch for its taste. Instead, they eat this grain starch because of their need to utilize it for thickening their foods such as chilli sauce, soups, baked beans, etc. Or, they eat it because of their need to use it for making their foods (such as chicken nuggets, vegetable chops, etc.) crispy. 

Q.3. What happens if you eat cornstarch?

Answer: If you occasionally eat cooked cornstarch in average proportion, nothing terrible will happen. However, eating raw cornstarch may lead to anaemia or iron deficiency. It may also result in various digestive problems such as gas, bloating, etc.

Besides, certain harmful bacteria are present in raw cornstarch & so consuming it raw may also cause various food-borne diseases or infections. Because of all these things, always consider eating it cooked as cooked cornstarch is safe for consumption. 

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