Here at the Project, we have received an influx of queries about modified corn starch over the past few weeks. Let’s talk about modified corn starch!
The “modified” in modified corn starch (and other types of modified starches) does not stand for genetically modified. In this context, “modified” simply means that the corn starch has been changed or altered in some way to make it more useful in food production. This could mean:
- Roasting the starch
- Treating the starch with an acid
- Using an electrical charge on the starch
- Treating the starch with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide
These types of modifications are usually made to improve the consistency of processed foods. It is often the reason you can stir powdered cheese into your macaroni with ease and the secret to making your instant pudding thicken instantly.
Thus, “modified” does not necessarily mean “genetically modified organism,” which is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
You can be sure products bearing the Non-GMO Project verification mark are in compliance with our rigorous Standard, which includes testing of high-risk products such as corn. We have several Non-GMO Project Verified modified starches, which you can find here.
Macaroni and cheese, anyone?