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Improvement of Cold Water-Soluble Sago Starch
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Cold water-soluble starch is a modified starch that can dissolve in cold water to form dispersion or paste without cooking. It is always used as a thickening or gelling agent in instant convenience foods which require short cooking/preparation time, to fulfil the busy lifestyle needs. This study focused on the preparation of instant starch using alcoholic-alkaline treatment. This treatment is concerned with a process wherein granules of starch are treated with alcohol and strong base to cause swelling of the granules and conversion to a form having increased cold water solubility. The uniqueness of this instant starch lies in the high intact granularity that contributes to desirable eating quality in the final products, such as high viscosity, smoother mouthfeel and texture, and hence high glossiness. This project was started by optimization of process parameters for alcoholic-alkaline treatment of sago starch using Response Surface Methodology (RSM). Results obtained indicated high amount of NaOH use in the treatment greatly improved the cold water solubility, yet it also led to rupture of starch granules (that could potentially reduce the desirable eating quality). Only 52.2 +-1.5% of cold water solubility could be achieved in order to retain the granularity of sago starch. It was then followed by attempts to improve the granularity of the sample by combining the alcoholic-alkaline treatment with different types of chemical modifications. RSM was used to investigate the effect of various process variables and their interaction on the responses studied. The modified GCWS sago starches were assessed in terms of their physicochemical properties and performance (quality) as instant starch. Our findings indicated that the cold water solubility of modified GCWS sago starch was successfully increased to >60% or >80% (with intact granularity) depending on the type of combined treatment used. This study has shown that optimum degree of chemical modification could enhance the starch granular strength to withstand alkaline hydrolysis and processing condition during alcoholic-alkaline treatment. In brief, all treatments share the fact that NaOH was the most important variable affecting the responses studied. Modified GCWS sago starch produced could be used as instant thickener in instant cocoa filling and topping premix for bakery and confectionary products. Nevertheless, this instant starch exhibited short texture and was not suitable to be used as gelling agent. In comparison to GCWS sago starch produced by alcoholic-alkaline treatment the functionalities (pasting and thermal behaviour) of instant starch produced were found different due to the structural alteration that took place in the starch granules. Further studies which look into the structural-functionality of modified GCWS sago starch, such as rtheological research (including texturizing properties) and investigations into molecular weight distribution and particle size distribution, may provide a better understanding of potential niche are applications, particularly in low calorie food industries.

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School of Food Science and Nutrition, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Beg Berkunci 2073,
88999 Kota Kinabalu

Full Name [1]
Lee Jau Shya