What Is Starch Retrogradation? (by Manuela Mejia)

During baking, the starch in dough melts. The molecules become less organized and allow water molecules to move near them, some are partially dissolved. As the bread cools, the starch recrystallizes or retrogrades and goes back to a solid form, which causes a firm texture. Starch retrogradation is desirable for some starchy food products in terms of textural and nutritional properties.

Why has starch retrogradation been the subject of intensive research over the last 50 years?

You can learn more about starch retrogradation here.

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7 thoughts on “What Is Starch Retrogradation? (by Manuela Mejia)”

  1. This is an interesting topic to talk about; we’ll probably bring it up when we start making bread in the lab. Anyway, starch retrogradation has been subject to such intense research because it’s what causes bread – as well as other starch products – to get stale making it less edible over time. The fact that bread begins staling the minute it comes out of the oven is enough to make it such a big deal. There are ways to slow down the staling process now, but if further advancements can be made, bread and other starchy products can have longer shelf lives in stores and we can enjoy bread a little more than we do now.

  2. Great read, thank you! I love making bread at home, but it seems so much heavier than store bought even though it doesn’t seem to go stale as fast. Is there something I can add to it to get the light and fluffy texture?

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