Corn flour and cornstarch might appear nearly identical to the untrained eye. Although these two components have a lot in common in terms of appearance and feel, their contrasts make them genuinely stand out. They have different nutritional profiles, tastes, and applications. Corn flour is a finely crushed powder made from intact corn kernels. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is a fine powder manufactured solely from the starchy component of corn.
They have varied culinary purposes due to their different nutritional levels and processing methods. Furthermore, the names for each differ in different parts of the world.
Corn flour and cornstarch are two of the most commonly used ingredients in today’s kitchens and households. These are all produced from corn, but they’re used in different ways. Read more to know the difference between corn flour and cornstarch, so you know which one to choose.
Corn flour vs. Cornstarch: Difference and Uses
What is Corn flour?
Corn flour is a fine powder formed from dried corn kernels that have been ground. Because maize flour is naturally gluten-free, baked goods created with it will not rise as much as those made with wheat flour, but they will be soft and flavorful.
Corn Flour: How to Use It
Corn flour is a common gluten-free flour for wheatless baked items, such as bread and waffles. It is long been used to cover fried meals like shrimp. Even without the grittiness of cornmeal, it gives a lovely corn taste and crispy crunch.
Cornstarch is a grain starch derived from the corn kern’s endosperm. Producers soak corn kernels in liquid to extract the endosperm—the grain’s nutrient-rich inner layer—before extracting the starch and drying it to make a fine white powder. It is the most often used food thickener. Like potatoes and other roots, starches can be used to thicken sauces, gravies, custards, and other liquid foods.
Cornstarch: How to Use It
Cornstarch is frequently mixed with a cooling medium to make a slurry before being added to a hot liquid to solidify it. It is used as an anti-caking agent in industrial food products such as shred cheese and powdered sugar to keep them from clumping.
Comparison Table: Difference Between Corn Flour and Cornstarch
|Parameter of Comparison||Corn flour||Cornstarch|
|Processing||Corn flour is made by grinding all of the kernels to a fine powder.||Cornstarch is a highly technical product in which the endothermic portion is extracted while the hull and germ region is left behind.|
|Flavour||It has an earthy, slightly sweet flavour that reminds me of corn.||Since the flavorful component has been removed, it is flavourless and has almost no taste.|
|Gluten||Because it contains gluten, it’s good for dough because it keeps its shape and becomes stretchy.||Because the endosperm area lacks protein, it is gluten-free.|
|Uses||Because of its sweetness, it is commonly blended with wheat and other flour in the bakery to increase fibre content and nutritional value.||It is mostly used to thicken the soup, but it also has applications in the medical industry and in the manufacturing of adhesives.|
|Nutrient||Corn flour has 110 calories per cup, has a low carbohydrate content, is 3 grams of protein, and includes micronutrients.||It has 120 calories, 10 more than corn flour, is protein deficient, and contains a lower percentage of minerals than corn flour.|
Cornstarch and Corn flour in Gluten-free Cooking
Cornstarch is a gluten-free flour that is “starchy.” That is, it contributes to the fluffiness and airiness of gluten-free baked goods, but not to their taste or texture. It can be replaced with arrowroot starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch in an equal weight ratio.
Corn flour is a gluten-free flour that is high in protein. It enhances the flavour and texture of gluten-free baked goods, albeit the amount of structure it adds is small when compared to “normal” wheat flour.
Corn’s versatility provides various benefits, and a single grain contains all of the essential nutrients that the body requires. Corn flour, like any other flour, is made from maize or corn and therefore is widely manufactured and consumed all over the world.
Corn flour is a yellow powder prepared from finely crushed, dried maize, whereas cornstarch is a fine, white powder made from the starchy part of a corn kernel. It is used similarly to other flours, however, cornstarch is generally employed as a thickener.
Although cornstarch, corn flour, and cornmeal are all produced from the same material, they should not be used interchangeably. Cornstarch is a gluten-free flour that is “starchy,” whereas corn flour is a gluten-free flour that is “protein.” These cannot be interchanged.
Corn flour can be used in place of or in addition to wheat flour in loaves of bread, pancakes, biscuits, waffles, and pastries. It imparts a characteristic corn flavour and a golden hue. Corn flour lacks gluten, the key protein in wheat that gives loaves of bread and baked goods elasticity and strength, therefore it may produce a more dense and crumbly item.
The terms corn and maize are interchangeable, ‘corn’ is more generally used in North America and ‘maize’ is more commonly used in the United Kingdom – both terms relate to the same thing. Hence, corn flour and maize flour are interchangeable.
Corn flour comes in two varieties: yellow corn flour, which is created from yellow corn kernels, and white corn flour, which is made from white corn kernels. Both types can be used interchangeably. Many people believe that yellow corn is sweeter than white corn, however, this isn’t the case.
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