Changing the physicochemical properties of starch by chemical modification is a common process. Starches can be modified to alter their hydrophobicity by treatment with octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA). The physicochemical properties of OSA starches from corn, tapioca, rice, potato and wheat were studied. The increase of swelling volume and pasting properties in OSA starches was observed and attributed to the introduction of OSA groups into the starch. However, the botanical source also played a key role in starch swelling and pasting properties. The OSA modification improved the textural properties, while not significantly (P < 0.05) affecting the thermal properties. Therefore, it was found that the level of OSA substitution and the botanical sources affected the physicochemical properties. However, it will be important to investigate the chemical properties and starch backbone structure of the modified starches, factors that play an important role in the physicochemical properties. Practical Applications: Modified starches are important in development of new food products with regards to both processing properties and end-product properties. Esterification of starch with octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) alters the swelling power, paste viscosity, gel texture and retrogradation of starches. OSA starches also have emulsification capacity which makes them useful as emulsion stabilizers, texturizers and fat-replacers in food systems. However, the botanical source of the starch plays a key role in the functionality of both native and modified starches. It is important to ascertain the properties of OSA modified starches prepared from various botanical sources to determine how the interaction of OSA esterification and botanical source will affect the functionality of the starches.
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