What is gelatinization in cooking?


Quick Answer

Gelatinization occurs when granules of a starch product, such as flour or cornstarch, swell when they come in contact with a liquid. This swelling process causes the the starch granules to thicken the liquid in which they are immersed. This is the basis for many gravies and sauces used in cooking.

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Full Answer

In nearly all cases, gelatinization occurs when heat is applied to the liquid and starch mixture, usually in a range of between 130-185 degrees Fahrenheit. A form of gelatinization also occurs when starch products like rice and pasta are cooked. The result is thicker, softer grains of rice and soft, pliable pasta noodles.

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