Wheat starch is the sugar that is stored in the plant's sugar storage cells. According to the International Starch Institute, the sugar granule transform into starch that can then be processed into a powdered form. Wheat starch can be used as a food additive and as a production component in the textile and paper industries. Wheat starch is similar in appearance to cornstarch or flour in its processed state.
Wheat starch is similar to cornstarch in appearance and use when a recipe calls for a thickening agent. The white powder, when combined with a small amount of water, helps stabilize food sauces and dessert puddings, according to RecipeTips.com. Wheat starch is not as powerful as cornstarch; the same measurement of wheat starch may not achieve the same results when used in a gravy, for example.
Wheat starch is often an ingredient in sweeteners such as glucose syrup, malotdextrins and s form of sugar called dextrose, especially in Europe. Celiac.com reports that processed foods that contain wheat starch or glucose syrup may be safe for people with celiac disease to eat, even if the item contains a very small amount of gluten. Celica disease is a condition in which people develop severe gastrointestinal repercussion when they ingest gluten, a protein found in wheat.
Book Repair Paste
Wheat paste uses are not limited to food. The powder can be mixed with water and heated to form a paste that is often used to repair book bindings and paper. The Indiana University Library's preservation department explains that wheat starch paste is used in conjunction with Japanese tissue paper to fix the hinges of books as well as to make flat repairs on paper. Wheat starch paste must be refrigerated once it has been mixed and cooked, to avoid spoilage.
The textile industry uses wheat paste as a sizer, when producing fabrics for wear. A sizer is a substance that give the material a protective barrier, and makes the fabric wearable. The International Starch Institute estimates that about 40 percent of starches that are being produced--of which wheat starch is one--is used by the paper industry.