Cornstarch, or cornflour in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, is the starch of the corn (maize) grain. It is also grown from the endosperm of the corn kernel. It has a distinctive appearance and feel when mixed raw with water or milk, giving easily to gentle pressure but resisting sudden pressure (see Dilatant and Non-Newtonian fluid). It is usually included as an anti-caking agent in powdered sugar (10X or
The corn is steeped for 30 to 48 hours, which ferments it slightly. The germ is separated from the endosperm and those two components are ground separately (still soaked). Next the starch is removed from each by washing. It is separated from the gluten and other substances, mostly in hydrocyclones and centrifuges, and dried. (The residue from every stage is used in animal feed and other products.) Finally the starch may be modified for specific purposes.
Amylophagia is a condition involving the compulsive consumption of excessive amounts of purified starch, often cornstarch.