|Did You Know?
As the Jews are prohibited from eating fermented products during the entire week of Passover, they use potato flour in certain kosher foods. The Finnish love the traditional sweet dish 'helmipuuro', a porridge made from potato starch and milk.
The root tubers of the potato plant are packed with starch grains (leucoplasts). When potatoes are compressed, these grains are released from the crushed cells. Manufacturers collect this starch and present it in the form of a dry powder. This is called potato starch. New varieties (for example, potatoes that contain only one type of starch molecule 'amylopectin') are being developed for better and easy manufacturing of potato starch. To get potato flour, whole peeled potatoes are cooked in giant industrial ovens. Then they are dried and ground to fine powder.
Some manufacturers use the names 'potato flour' and 'potato starch' incorrectly. People get confused as potato starch is often called and labeled as potato starch flour. 'Potato starch' and 'potato starch flour' are exactly the same. But 'potato flour' is a completely different product. The comparison between potato flour and potato starch will throw light on the differences between these two products. Although both come in the form of a white powder, there are certain characteristics which set them apart.
Potato Starch Vs. Potato Flour
|Potato Starch||Potato Flour|
|What is It?||Potato starch flour is the root starch of potatoes.||Potato flour is the powdered form of whole cooked dehydrated potatoes.|
|How is it Produced?||
|Appearance||The starch comes in the form of a clear white powder. It looks and feels like cornstarch.||Potato flour resembles wheat flour in texture and feel. It can be white or off-white in color.|
|Labeling||The label on a potato starch packet usually states that the product contains 'potato extract' or 'vegetable starch'.||The label on the potato flour packet informs us that 'whole potatoes' is the primary ingredient of the product.|
|Nutritional Value||The starch is a refined product and contains minimal protein, fat, and other nutrients.||
If you want to use potato starch as a soup thickener, take a tablespoon of starch in a container and add some cold water to make a thick paste. Add this paste to a boiling soup. You may use the flour in a similar way, but you should not boil the liquid after adding the flour. Both potato flour and starch should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from light. Although these products are gluten-free, they are often combined with wheat flour, so the finished product won't be gluten-free.