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What is modified food starch? I have a wheat allergy and don't know if I should avoid foods that have it listed on the label.

Modified food starch is a starch that has been treated physically or chemically to modify one or more of its physical or chemical properties. The 'starch' could be from corn, wheat, potato, rice or tapioca--it depends on the manufacturer. By definition, modified food starch must contain less than .5% protein, but, it's up to the manufacturer to abide by that regulation, and there could be an exception.

You are smart to read food labels. That is the best way to tell which ingredients are found in processed foods. However, to be even safer, always check with the manufacturer about specific ingredients that could pose a health risk.

Sources: National Starch and Chemical, www.foodstarch.com
Food Allergy Network: 1-800-929-4040, http://foodallergy.org/

Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., Former Nutritional Sciences Specialist, University of Missouri-Columbia

   
University of Missouri Extension Site Administrator:
mofamweb@missouri.edu 

Last updated:04/06/2004
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