Is Modified Corn Starch Bad For You?


Photo from Yoplait
The words modified corn starch on the back of my yogurt container jumped out at me.

High fructose corn syrup has made us all highly aware of anything that contains the word "corn," and I'm amping up my yogurt to improve my health -- not pack on the pounds! So I asked Erin Palinski, a registered dietitian: is modified corn starch bad for you?

Here's what she had to say:

What is modified corn starch?

Modified corn starch is a food additive which is created by treating starch, causing the starch to be partially degraded. Modified corn starch can be used as a stabilizer, thickening agent, or an emulsifier. Starches may be modified to change texture of a food, increase their stability, decrease viscosity, or to lengthen or shorten gelatinization time.

Is it bad for you?

There does not appear to be any research indicating that modified corn starch is dangerous to our health. However, processed foods, which may be high in sodium, fat, or sugar, often contain modified starches. Consuming too much processed food may be detrimental to health (due to increased intake of sodium, empty calories from sugar, saturated fat, etc).

If it's in processed foods, does that mean all foods with modified corn starch should be avoided?

Great question! The modified corn starch doesn't make the food unhealthy. A lot of foods use this for texture (for yogurt to improve the creaminess) or for instance in salad dressing as an emulsifier to hold it together. It can even be used in frozen foods to prevent  condensation/melting, etc.

A food that is natural (from nature- like whole fruits and vegetables) won't have any additives. So these of course are always are BEST choice. But a low fat yogurt that uses modified starch for texture is still healthy since it provides us with protein, calcium, vitamin D, etc. However, if you look at even more natural yogurts, like a Greek yogurt,
you will notice less additives (no modified starch, no HFCS, etc) making it an even more natural, healthier choice.

Check your labels -- does modified corn starch show up in a lot of your foods?

eating healthy, nutrition


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Cathe... CatherinaAngel

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nonmember avatar Tom Cruise

The information provided is Great!! :)

nonmember avatar Katie Holmes

Good info, but your info had conflicting statements. "Greek yogurt is the more natural healthier choice" Even when you said there's nothing wrong with the modified food starch yogurt. Overall is it bad for you? I don't understand this use of rhetoric when all we want is the truth.

nonmember avatar thehealthierme

I agree with Katie, I would like to know the names or codes (lol)of some food additives , is it a chemical? its obvious that they are Add-i-tive something what is it ? i would like to research it myself to see if it is bad or good hell it could be rat poisening or dead magets thats keeping the texture creammmmmmy ... from my research fda allows a certain amount of stuff in food I.E magets...... really ?!!

Karen Beckner

I have a question about the Modified corn starch article. I noticed that it was in my Lipton Green Superfruit tea, which I thought to be really strange. This is tea bag tea that you brew. Anyway, I am on an eating plan and the first 17 days I am avoiding all starchy vegtables, grains and sugar. Well I noticed the modified corn starch when I was reading the box brewing my first cup. I also noticed that in the nutrition facts it has no carbs, no sugar so I am confused on weather to drink this the first 17 days of my new eating plan. I mean the no carbs and no sugar is of course good. I would like to know what the nutritionist thinks please:) Thank you:) Am I technically ingesting corn? Or is it so broken down that no I am not?

nonmember avatar PCL

"However, if you look at even more natural yogurts, like a Greek yogurt,
you will notice less additives (no modified starch, no HFCS, etc) making it an even more natural, healthier choice."
Not if you're looking at Dannon "Oikos" Greek yogurt. One of the top ingredients, just after sugar, is fructose, the liver-clogging "active ingredient" in High Fructose Corn Syrup. That's also the reason the stuff has such a sickly sticky-sweet taste, texture and after-taste. Go with Choban or the Stop&Shop store brand to avoid this crap.

Jesica Leyla

Seeing that all corn by-products are genetically modified at this point, which has been made possible by an FDA governed by Monsanto and the like, modified corn starch is a bad idea. Also, it contains at least 10% maltodextrin which is a pseudonym for MSG, mono sodium glutamate which took on 40 different names to be disguised after it was exposed to be a health hazard. But major chemical companies will vouch that all this is GOOD for you. You're going to die anyways, right?

Robert Horler

modified maize starch is migraine trigger in some people ,and even if you dont get symptoms now it has degrading effect on brain and will rot your cells but hey youre making money for people that dont care about your health ,so i sugest you start caring and avoid it..

Jordan Howard

This is ridiculous, idiotic and pathetic. You either don't understand that MODIFIED Food/Corn (Whatever) Starch is directly a GMO FOOD PRODUCT, OR, your blatantly stupid. I will not be coming back to these articles or this site for Any further nutritional supervision. No Initial Thank you, and Indefinitely, GOOD BYE.

nonmember avatar SIRI CRUISE

CRAP..I'm eating nonfat GREEK YOGURT and it states "Modified Corn Starch" in the listed ingredients, that's why I looked at this site. Can't eat anything nowadays..Everything has been tampered with or altered just for money greed killing millions slowly in the process. We're all Effed*.

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