What Is Rice Starch?

Rice starch is a fine-grained, tasteless white powder obtained by processing raw rice. It is inexpensive, hypoallergenic and non-toxic. Rice starch is an important ingredient in body care products because it has no aroma. Other products made with rice starch include medicines, jarred baby food and processed food mixes.

According to Westphalia Separator, there are three types of rice starch. Highly absorbent non-waxy starch appears in baby food and powdered sauce mixes because its tiny particle size makes it a powerful thickener. It also promotes healthful digestion. Non-waxy rice starch only thickens after boiling and cooling. Prepared Foods states that waxy rice starch adds a smooth, creamy texture to soups and sauces. It does not require boiling. The third type of rice starch, modified rice starch, is a popular vegan substitute for traditional powdered gelatin.

Westphalia Separator reveals that commercial rice starch extraction begins with broken raw rice soaked in caustic soda for at least 12 hours that is then passed through a series of mechanical separators. These machines use wet and dry methods to gradually isolate and extract the starch. The final steps in rice starch extraction are drying and packaging. Rice starch extraction produces large quantities of fiber and protein residue. Farm animal feed often contains this nutritionally dense detritus.