Potato starch and potato flour: what’s the difference?

July 19, 2019 5:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Some years ago, a customer contacted us, looking for potato starch. Her husband had been diagnosed with various allergies, and on his list of approved foods was potato starch, with a note that this was not to be confused with potato flour.

Starch? Flour? What's the difference?

Unfortunately, this did then cause a great deal of confusion, as we attempted to sort out just what we had, and what exactly the difference was. We worked it out in the end – and we’re now reissuing this blog to help anyone who is similarly confused!

In a nutshell, here’s the difference.

Potato starch

This is starch extracted from potatoes and then refined. It is fine in appearance and completely white. It’s a very useful starch – good for binding and neutral to the taste. In general, it’s used as a thickening agent (though in fact, has uses ranging from photography and wallpaper, to junk food!). It’s gluten-free, so popular with coeliacs, and also used in Jewish cooking at Passover, where it fits the dietary restrictions of this time. It gelatinises at lower temperatures than corn starch, which makes it useful as a bulking agent in gluten-free baking powder, helping the air bubbles that form to hold their shape and trap the gas.

Potato flour

This is a flour, not a starch, made by crushing, grinding and dehydrating cooked potatoes. The flour is heavy and yellow-ish and has a strong potato flavour. It is generally used in baking where the end-product needs to retain moisture, such as bread or loaf cakes. On occasions, it’s also used to give a more potato-y flavour to a dish, such as potato soup. This too, is a gluten-free food.

We do not sell potato flour at Naturally Good Food.

We do sell potato starch: click here to view it on our site.

As a final contradictory note, ‘potato starch’ and ‘potato starch flour’ (another term you may come across) are exactly the same thing. They are both ‘potato starch’, and are stocked by us. Neither of them are potato flour.

If, like our customer, you need potato starch, you can order from us with confidence. We stock a variety of pack sizes: 500g, 5kg and 25kg and have both organic and non-organic options.

Naturally Good Reads v2

 

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This post was written by Yzanne

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