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Institute for Commercialization

Starch Esters and the Method of Preparation

Reference Number: K 08-36

Inventors: Shi, Yong-Cheng; Bai, Yanjie

Owner: Kansas State University Research Foundation


Invention Summary

This invention provides for novel water soluble lipophilic starches and a cost effective method of preparation of said starches. Traditionally, many different emulsion stabilizers have been used in various food and beverage products. However, due to supply and price constraints of these emulsifiers, modified starches have been used as a stable, more abundant alternative. Native starch is crystalline and hydrophilic in nature and thus insoluble in water with no emulsification properties. In order to achieve the desired emulsification properties, hydrophobic groups such as octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) are reacted with native starch in order to create an ester used as an emulsion stabilizer. This OSA modified starch derivative is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thus has many applications throughout the food and beverage industries. However, the preparation process of these starch esters requires several steps in order to make the native starch lipophilic and water soluble at room temperature, both required properties of an emulsifier.

This new technology is a cost effective process to introduce a hydrophobic group such as octenyl succinate on starch. The resulting ester is a water soluble starch with excellent emulsification properties that can be used as an emulsion stabilizer in various food and beverage applications as well as many other industrial applications. In addition to its cost effectiveness, the process simplifies the needs for manufacturing equipment and the resulting starch ester is significantly easier to prepare than current modified starch esters. Additionally, starches with high degree of substitution or other types of ester can be produced for non-food applications.


  • Cost effective method for achieving esterification, degradation and starch solubility in water

  • Resulting starch ester has excellent emulsion stability

  • The ester can be used as an economical replacement for traditional emulsion stabilizers


Resulting starch ester can be used as an emulsion stabilizer and encapsulating agent. Specific areas include:

  • Food Industry

  • Beverage Industry

  • Industrial Applications

  • Encapsulation and Delivery Applications