Manufacturing process

The starch processing industry consists of extracting, processing and adding value to all components of the cereals and tubers which are starch, proteins, germs and cellulose casings.

The first stage of processing involves a series of simple steps physically separating of the constituents of the cereal grains and tubers such as steeping, milling, grinding, sieving, washing, filtration and centrifugation. The manufacturing processes are specific and dedicated to each raw material, without any possibility of interchangeability. Thus, the first step of the wheat starch process involves milling and sieving in a wheat flour mill, while maize starch is obtained by wet milling: the maize being soaked in water for a few days at 40 °C before grinding. Proteins, germs and fibres are concentrated and dehydrated before being delivered to the market.

In the second step, the starch thus extracted in its purest form will be valued "as is" after drying as native starch, or dispatched to multiple workshops where it will undergo further transformations. One of the largest transformations is the hydrolysis of starch. Under the action of heat and carefully selected enzymes, starch is broken up into shorter chains of glucose. One speaks of liquefaction and saccharification of the starch, leading to more or less hydrolyzed products having a wide range of sweetening power and other functionalities. These are called sweeteners and include glucose syrups, isoglucose, maltodextrins and dextrose. In the third step, the sweeteners may be hydrogenated into polyols.

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