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starch paste

Starch, from any source, cooked with sufficient water, makes paste.  Zin
Shofu, the expensive precipitated wheat starch paste, is nothing more or
less than wheat flour soaked in water until the starch precipitates out.

Starch (whether from wheat, rice, potato, arrow root, etc.) dispersed in
water and cooked, will make an adhesive.

Starches occur in the form of granules; starch granules occur in a variety
of sizes; the range of sizes is somewhat less in wheat, as compared with
other common starches.  When cooked, the granules absorb water until
finally the membranes surrounding the granules burst and paste happens.

When cooking with stirring, this is easy to feel; when cooking in a microwave
oven it is impossible to feel.

As regards adhesive properties, they are all more-or-less the same; wheat
starch paste may be a little stronger (my personal opinion) and rice starch
paste may be a little more transparent.  For the rest, they are (again, in
my opinion) more brittle.

So.  If you want the best possible cooked starch adhesive, precipitate your
own, from either wheat or rice, and cook it down by hand (not your actual
hand; you know what I mean).


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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