Is cornflour the same as cornstarch? (a complete guide)

In this article, we answer the following question: Is cornflour the same as cornstarch? We explain the important differences between these two ingredients.

Is cornflour the same as cornstarch?

Cornflour and cornstarch are not the same. Although both ingredients come from corn, their production process is different. The flour is ground, while the cornstarch is left to ferment slightly, then the starch is removed and allowed to dry.

One of the main differences is that flour contains gluten, a protein that provides elasticity and consistency to the dough. Their nutritional properties are similar; they have identical calories, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.

As they provide different flavors and thickness to food, cornstarch is recommended to thicken creams and beverages; cornflour is used in baking.

Nutritional values of cornstarch and cornflour (100 gr.)

Value  Cornstarch Cornflour
Calories381370
Proteins0.3 g7 g
Fat0.1 g1.8 g
Carbohydrates92 g79 g
Fibers0.9 g3.9 g

Where do cornstarch and cornflour come from?

Both cornstarch and cornflour are obtained from corn grains; the first step to making cornflour and cornstarch is to remove the husk. Once this is done, all the remaining grain is used in the flour, while in the cornstarch, the germ is also removed.

How are cornstarch grains and cornflour ground?

Cornstarch: As for the grinding of the grains, when obtaining the cornstarch, the corn is wet so that it ferments, and it is then when it is crushed and washed to remove all the starch. In this step, it is precisely when some of its properties vary since starch greatly influences the texture of food.

Corn flour: Unlike this, to get corn flour, the grain is ground directly until obtaining that fine powder. These procedures do not alter the nutritional values of either of the two, since they finally present, among others, the same number of calories and proteins.

The only notable difference in this regard between corn flour and cornstarch would be that cornstarch does not contain gluten, which makes it suitable for coeliacs.

Is cornstarch or cornflour better for cooking?

When preparing a recipe, we tend to take advantage of food that we have at home, varying some ingredients for other similar ones in our pantry, but in this case, it is not advisable.

One of the main reasons is precisely the lack of gluten in cornstarch since gluten is responsible for making corn flour elastic, which is necessary, for example, to make good bread. To solve the lack of gluten in cornstarch, a good trick is to add an egg to the mixture.

Despite this, the remarkable thing about cornstarch is that a smaller amount is needed in proportion to the cornflour, which means a lower contribution of calories and carbohydrates in our recipe.

Cornstarch and cornflour provide different thicknesses to recipes; therefore, cornstarch is recommended to thicken creams, while flour is used more frequently in confectionery.

Differences in taste between Cornstarch or Cornflour

Like corn, cornmeal tastes earthy and sweet. It can be used as a topping or in place of wheat flour in bread, waffles, and cakes to add a corn-like flavor.

Cornflour is sometimes confused with cornstarch; in the United States, it refers to a coarser flour made from corn kernels. Cornflour has a more distinctive flavor compared to cornstarch.

In contrast, cornstarch is mostly tasteless, thus adding texture rather than flavor. It is a mild powder that is used to thicken dishes.

Most common confusion when differentiating cornstarch from cornmeal  In the UK, Israel, Ireland, and some other countries, most people refer to cornstarch as cornflour.

Therefore, recipes and cooking instructions that originate outside of the United States may call for cornflour when they mean cornstarch.

If you are not sure which product to use in a recipe, try to find out its origin.

Many people have the same doubts about certain foods, so they decide to study nutrition and improve their lifestyle. Alternatively, see how the corn product is used in the recipe. If it is intended to be used in a similar way to wheat flour, cornflour is probably your best option. If the formula uses the product to thicken a soup or sauce, the best option is cornstarch.

Cornstarch and cornflour are not interchangeable in recipes.

Due to their different nutritional compositions, cornstarch and cornflour cannot be used in the same way in recipes.

Cornflour can be used to make bread, pancakes, cookies, waffles, and cakes. Also as a substitute for wheat flour. Adds a distinctive corn flavor and yellow color. However, since Cornflourl is gluten-free (the main protein in wheat that adds elasticity and strength to bread and baked goods), it can result in a denser and more crumbly product.

Cornstarch is used primarily to thicken soups, stews, and sauces. To avoid lumps, it should be mixed with a cold liquid before adding it to a hot dish.  Because cornstarch is primarily starch and contains no protein or fat, it cannot be used in the same way as cornmeal for baking.  Fried or breaded foods may also have cornstarch, as it can help provide a crisp finish.

Finally, cornstarch is often added to confectionery sugar to prevent it from clumping.  

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following question: Is cornflour the same as cornstarch? We explained the essential differences between these two ingredients.

Cornstarch and cornflour are not the same. Due to their different nutritional compositions, cornstarch and cornflour cannot be used in the same way in recipes.

Cornflour can be used to make bread, pancakes, cookies, waffles, and cakes. Also as a substitute for wheat flour. In comparison, cornstarch is mainly used to thicken soups, stews, and sauces. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References

Food.com

Recipemarker.com

Healthline.com 

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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