Starch has a very wide application in many spheres of human activity. Starch is used in food, confectionery, textile, paper, packing, chemical, rubber, metallurgical, gas and oil-extracting, construction, pharmaceutical, perfumery and other branches of industry. It is also used by population for personal consumption (preparation of kissel (kind of blancmange) and sauces, linen starching, gluing of wall-paper, etc.)
Paper industry is the largest consumer of starch thanks to its specific properties, availability, and comparative cheapness. Different types of starch are used at different stages of production of paper and cardboard. Starch is used to enhance the mechanical durability of paper and cardboard, to reduce the consumption of auxiliary chemicals during paper production, to improve the outward appearance and printing properties of paper for printing. To make the surface of writing and printing paper more durable, starch paste is applied to carry out surface sizing of paper. In the production of multi-layered cardboard, starch is used to increase the interlaminar strength. In the production of corrugated cardboard, starch glue is used to glue flat and corrugated layers of cardboard.
In the textile industry, starch is used for smoothing, dressing, and preparation of thickening materials (thickener). Thickeners are materials, which are used to prevent paint spreading when applying drawing on fabric. Smoothening of threads and finished fabric (dressing) improves the quality and outward appearance of articles due to increase in durability of threads, reduction in the number of nodules and added gloss. Any types of starch can be used for production of size and thickeners, but corn starch is the most widely used type in the world and in Russia.
Food industry is one of the largest consumers of starch, including also the chemically modified type. Modern production of yoghurts, sauces, creams, pastry, meat and sausages and many other foodstuffs would not have existed without using the modified starch for already a long time. For about 200 years, the modified starch in the form of starch treacle has been the second largest, by its volume, sweetening component after sugar for preparation of all kinds of foodstuff.
Production of glue. Starch is a widely spread basis for production of glue, which is most often used to glue paper materials: wall-paper, paper packets and bags, to bind books, etc.