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Starch based ingredients can be found in a variety of food products that we buy in supermarkets, such as snacks, soups, sauces, bread, confectionary, soft drinks, ice creams and ready-made meals.

You are most likely to find native and modified starches in foods such as snacks, soups, sauces, puddings and frozen fruit because they are added to help the food keep its structure and texture after being defrosted, microwaved or cooked. Depending on their origin, these ingredients can be labelled as ‘starch,’ ‘potato starch,’ ‘maize starch,’ or ‘wheat starch, ‘modified potato starch’ etc.

Sugary syrups made from starch can be found in confectionary, soft drinks, cakes and ice creams. They are labelled as glucose syrups, glucose-fructose syrups or fructose-glucose syrups in the ingredient list on a product’s packaging.

If you buy a chewing gum or a low-calorie fruit spread, chances are that starch based ingredients have been used there too. They are called sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol or xylitol. These sugar-free sweeteners are good for oral health as they do not promote dental caries and have a lower calorie content than sugar.