The structure, and perhaps size, of starch molecules can fundamentally affect digestion properties in cooked and processed foods. This can be viewed both from the inherent starch structural properties as well as retrogradation-related structural differences (double helical structures and crystallites) that affect enzyme binding and rate of digestion. Therefore, an understanding of starch structure is critical for the moderation of glycemic response and to design enhanced health value starch ingredients for the food industry. Starch is composed of the essentially linear amylose which consists mostly of a-1,4-linked D-glucopyranosyl units and the highly branched and very large amylo-pectin (often >1 million glucose units) in which linear a-1,4-linked D-glucopyranosyl chains are joined through a-1,6-linked branches. Starch structural modification therefore can be viewed as a key strategy to achieve SDS. Structural modification of starch molecules can be carried out through genetic, enzymatic, physical, and chemical modifications.
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