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Cornstarch: what maizena is used for, its applications in the kitchen and in the home (and cosmetics!), properties and information on what it is and where it is obtained. How to make a mask for hair and face, with corn starch and water. Contraindications for those with dry skin and a natural remedy to treat oily skin.
L'Cornstarchorcorn flour(not to be confused with the corn flour) finds wide applications in various industrial and non-industrial sectors. At home, we can use it for household chores, as an ingredient in the kitchen or in natural cosmetics.
What is corn starch
L'cornstarchorcorn flouris the starch extracted frommaize(corn). L'cornstarchis produced starting from the endosperm ofcorn. For its production, the corn is left to ferment for just 30 - 48 hours in order to more easily separate the germ from the endosperm. Corn germ and endosperm (the endosperm is the innermost part of the corn kernel and represents a starch reserve) are ground separately. The ground endosperm undergoes various filtration and centrifugal processes through which it loses any fiber, protein or germ residue. The final phase of the production process ofcornstarchis drying.
The namecorn flour it was adopted by us Italians from the United Kingdom. L'cornstarch it is commonly called maizena in Ireland and Israel. Sometimes thecornstarchit is called improperly corn flour, corn flour is a completely different food because it comes from the complete grinding of the whole grain of corn. The color and texture of the corn flour (or cornmeal) is shown in the photo below.
What is corn starch used for in the kitchen
In culinary practice it can be used as a thickener in soups, soups and creams; on this page we will see all its uses.
Cornstarch is corn flourthey are two different names to indicate the same product. L'cornstarchit is used forthickenthe texture of sauces and soups is used to give consistency to all liquid-based foods such as sauces, puddings, creams, bechamel ... It replaces white flour because it has a less neutral flavor but also because itcornstarchforms a translucent and non-opaque mixture, this difference is highly appreciated in puddings. When thecornstarch is heated, the molecular chains form a dense mesh that causes the liquid to thicken, a phenomenon known asgelatinization.
In cooking, corn starch is added to the breading batter of cutlets, chicken nuggets and other fried foods to make the coating more crunchy.
If in Italy, pasta is prepared with semolina or durum wheat flour, in Venezuela there is an abundance of pasta prepared with corn starch which, for this application, is called “Plancholin starch”.
If in Italy, in Italy, the custard is prepared with flour, in the USA the recipe sees the use of corn starch or a mixture of corn starch and flour, the cream, in addition to the flavor, also changes appearance becoming more opaque.
How to replace corn starch in the kitchen or in cosmetics
Corn starch is widely used in gluten-free cooking to replace white flour. For replace corn starch in the kitchen you can use rice starch, tapioca flour or, in some cases, potato starch.
If the corn flouris used to thicken liquid-based foods, thepotato starch it is used to make solid dough softer. If part of the flour for theSponge cakeis replaced with potato starch, thesponge cakeobtained will be more crumbly and soft; the same goes for donuts, muffins, cookies and other baked goods.
For cosmetic uses, corn starch can be easily replaced with rice starch, often more suitable for those with dry or particularly sensitive skin problems.
The opening photo (top) shows thecornstarch, as is clear, color and consistency are completely different even if the starting product is the same: maize. For all the information on corn flour, I recommend the page:"corn flour, property, uses and types of flour ".
Corn starch for the skin: cosmetic use
It is useful for the treatment of fat hairand ofoily skin, albeit often, for cosmetic uses therice starchwith similar properties. For all alternative uses ofcornstarchwe refer you to the article dedicated torice starch. Corn and rice starch, in the cosmetic field, can boast similar properties and therefore replace them with each other.
In cosmetics, rice starch is much more widespread than corn starch, but this does not make it more effective: both can be used as natural cleansers to wash the face or for the classic post-make-up facial cleansing, to counteract eczema. or relieve irritation from pimples. Rice starch would seem to be more delicate but in both cases, those with dry and very sensitive skin should limit its use to avoid cracking.
Rice starch, as well as corn starch, is used to relieve diaper rash on children's skin and especially to take advantage of its absorbent and anti-inflammatory properties.
Corn starch, cosmetic properties
Hercosmetic propertiesare related to the high ability to absorb sebum. For this reason, corn starch is more suitable for the care of oily skin or oily hair. It is contraindicated for those with excessively dry skin.
Its absorbent power makes it particularly suitable for the preparation of natural face powder or masks for those with skin prone to inflammation, for those suffering from pimples and acne.
It is used as a soothing agent, excellent for skin irritations (including diaper rashes).
This white powder can also be used forwash your facebut not every day! The strong absorbency could cause cracking and dry skin. To wash your face, use corn starch two or three times a week (oily skin) or only once a week if you have combination and dry skin.
Corn starch based mask for face or hair
Acorn starch based hair maskit is easily prepared by mixing water, corn starch and adding 10% by weight of hydrogen peroxide. You will need to get a mush to spread on the hair and leave for 10 minutes. Therecorn starch based hair maskit should only be used by those with oily hair problems. The same recipe (omitting the hydrogen peroxide) can be used to prepare oneface mask.
To make a more accurate face mask, you can mix equal parts cornstarch and ventilated green clay.
Corn starch as a grandmother's remedy
Corn starch is a natural remedy widely used by grandmothers! It is added in shoes to solve the problem offeet sweatingand also of athlete's foot.
In home hygiene and for cleaning skin and fabrics, it is useful for remove hair dye stains, just create a batter given by whole milk and corn starch (on the skin) and water and corn starch on surfaces and fabrics (which should then be immediately rinsed).
Also in the home, corn starch is used to starch the collar of shirts and make it more rigid.
Here's a little trick: if you make homemade icing sugar with a blender, add a pinch of cornstarch which will act as a natural anti-caking agent, preventing the icing sugar from creating solid clumps!
Corn starch, what is it for? Other uses
In the introduction we talked about various industrial applications:cornstarch it is used in the new plastic industry (for the production ofbiodegradable plastic) and in the cosmetic industry for the formulation of beauty products and deodorants. Using corn starch you can prepare an excellent DIY deodorant scented.
In the medical field,cornstarchit is used as a non-stick agent on latex products including condoms, disposable gloves, diaphragms ...cornstarchwent to replace the old onetalcwhen some research found that talc could be carcinogenic.
In the United States, to reduce food production costs, they have allowed the addition ofcornstarchin various foods such as yogurt and cheese.
In the pharmaceutical field, corn starch is used as an excipient for the preparation of pills (tablets).
It is used as a non-stick agent in latex-based products such as condoms, diaphragms and gloves.
Corn starch has glucose-modulating properties, so much so that it can be used to maintain blood glucose levels (glycaemia) for people with glycogen storage diseases. In this context, its use must be monitored by a doctor.
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