Corn starch/water mixtures at compositions of 70:30, 80:20 and 90:10 (w/w %) were submitted to processing at 90ºC and different rates (20, 40, 80 and 100rpm) in an internal mixer (Rheomix 600), equipped with counter-rotating roller type rotors. The effect of the water content and of the rotation rate on the starch processing was investigated by torque and temperature curves given by the in-line Rheocord 9000 torque rheometer. Viscosity measurements, carried out in a Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA), and optical microscopy analysis were performed on the processed samples to complement the rheometry data. The results indicated that the water content and the rotation rate had a significant effect on the characteristics of the processed starch samples. For compositions with 10 and 20% (w/w) water contents and processed at 80 and 100rpm, degradation was observed at a larger extent. For compositions in which water had been added at a 30% (w/w) content, its plastifying property contributed to minimize degradation caused by mechanical and thermal inputs. In these cases, the granular structure of starch was largely preserved.
corn starch; internal mixer; torque rheometry; viscosity; optical microscopy