Definition for STARCH

STARCH, n. [Sax. stearc, rigid, stiff; G. stärke, strength, starch, stark, strong; D. sterk, Dan. stærk, Sw. stark, strong. See Stare and Steer.]

A substance used to stiffen linen and other cloth. It is the fecula of various vegetables, a substance which is a white solid with no smell, and with very little taste, and which, when squeezed between the fingers, gives a very peculiar sound. It is insoluble in cold water, but with boiling water it forms a jelly very nearly transparent. Iodine forms with starch, a blue compound, and hence is the best test of its presence. Starch forms the greatest portion of all fabrinaceous substances, particularly of wheat flour, and it is the chief ingredient of bread.

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