Product Range

Product Range

Anil Limited – Redefining Starch Manufacturing in India

Glossary of Terms

To aid in the understanding of industry-specific information technical terms are explained. For reader convenience, definitions of some of the more difficult terms and of terms having special meanings in the corn refining industry are listed here.

Amylose:A starch molecule made up of glucose units chemically arranged in long straight chains.
Amylopectin:A starch molecule made up of glucose units chemically arranged into branched chains.
Anhydroglucose units:The basic C6H10O5 unit that occurs repeatedly in all starch molecules.
Aqueous:Containing water.
BOD:Biological oxygen demand, the measure of the amount of oxygen in a body of water used over a period of time through bacteria and plankton activity to stabilize decomposable organic waste.
Brabender:Amylo-viscograph unit used to measure viscosity.
Carbohydrate:A chemical compound composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (starch, sugar and cellulose are three of the most common examples).
Congeal:To change from a liquid to a semi- solid, non-fluid mass.
Convert:To change to a lower molecular weight form, as by dextrinization, hydrolysis, etc.
Corn:The seed from commercially grown maize (Zea mays) used primarily for animal feed and corn-derived food and industrial products; not sweet corn.
Derivative:A product obtained by reacting starch with a chemical compound, resulting in unique physical and functional properties.
Enzyme:Any of a class of protein molecules that catalyze specific biochemical transformations, as in the conversion of starch to glucose.
Fluidity:Reciprocal of viscosity.
Fractions:The two types of molecules found in starches - linear and branched; amylose and amylopectin.
Gel:A firm, semi-rigid, cooled starch paste resembling a jelly; to form a gel.
Gelatinize:To cook starch in aqueous suspension to the point at which swelling of the granules take place, forming a viscous solution.
Genetics:A branch of biology dealing with hereditary variations in plants and animals. As an applied science, it is used to improve corn by breeding desired characteristics into new varieties.
Glucosidic Cleavage:The hydrolysis of a glucose polymer whereby water is the agent, which, under acid or enzyme catalysis, acts to split apart the glucosidic bond holding adjacent glucose units together and regenerates an hydroxyl group on each glucose component.
Granule:The small, grain-like storage particle produced in plants, consisting of starch molecules arranged in characteristic patterns.
High Amylose Starch:A starch containing over 50% amylase (usually 55-70%).
Hydrate:A molecular-water association.
Hydrolysis:Process of splitting a molecule into smaller parts by chemical reaction with water.
Hydroxyl (OH) Group:A chemical radical consisting of one oxygen and one hydrogen atom.
Hygroscopic:Readily absorbing and retaining moisture.
Kernel: A whole grain or seed of a cereal, especially corn.
Linkage:The specific bonding arrangement by which molecules are joined to form larger molecules.
Micelles:The tight bundles into which linear starch molecules and the linear segments of the branched molecules are drawn together.
Molecule:A unit of matter; the smallest portion of a compound that retains chemical identity with the substance in mass.
Mutant:An offspring different from its parent in some well-marked characteristic.
Oxidation:The act of oxidizing which is brought about by increasing the number of positive charges on an atom or the loss of negative charges.
pH:A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, pH 7 being neutral, lower values acid and higher values being alkaline.
Polymer: A very large, complex molecule formed by chemically joining a large number of identical smaller units (or monomers) in a repeating pattern.
Retrogradation:Dehydration and reversion of cooked starch from a paste to a condition of insolubility.
Slurry:Suspension of starch in water, with or without other components of corn.
Stable:Term indicates that the starch paste does not change appreciably in viscosity, clarity or texture with age.
Starch paste: The thick, viscous, smooth suspension formed by cooking starch in a water suspension to a point above its gelatinization temperature.
Steep water:Water containing dissolved protein, minerals and other substances in which corn has been soaked or "steeped" during the initial stages of the corn refining process.
Suspension:A heterogeneous mixture of an insoluble granular or powdered material with a fluid.
Synthesize:To build up a compound by the union of simpler compounds or of its elements.
Viscosity: Term used to indicate the resistance of liquids to flow; often used to describe the thickness of a starch paste.
Waxy maize:A variety of corn, the starch content of which consists solely of branched molecules.
Wet milling: A process for separating corn into its component parts using a water-sulphur dioxide system.

(Reference: Corn Refiner’s Association)