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Which is the Best Food Thickener: Corn Starch or Potato Starch?

by MarketMillion

If you are looking for a food thickener to thicken up your soups, smoothies, sauces, or any liquid foodstuffs, you will probably have already come across corn and potato starch.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which this article will discuss to help you decide the better option for your culinary creations. Plus, there are even a few other thickening agents to consider – ones that you might not have even heard of!

Other Thickening Agents

To begin with, if you want something that will go with every dish you could ever think of, you should try a thickening agent that has been perfected for the sole purpose of thickening food – and nothing else.

Specialist food thickening agents like SimplyThick Easy mix have been specially formulated to thicken recipes, especially for people with swallowing difficulties. These kinds of agents will work well when thickening up most recipes, as that is what they are purpose-designed for.

Corn Starch

Corn starch, as its name might suggest, comes from corn. When ground into the fine white powder that kitchens around the world have come to know and love, corn starch doesn’t emit an odor nor a particular taste. This makes it a very good option when it comes to thickening food, as it won’t add any strange flavors or scents.

Generally speaking, corn starch can be used in sweet and savory dishes, making it a very versatile thickening ingredient. As for savory dishes, you can use it in soups and broths to thicken them up to your liking. On the other hand, when baking, corn starch is often used in brownies and cakes to make them more stable – after all, who doesn’t like a thick, chunky brownie?

Corn starch is also favored by many kitchen lovers thanks to the fact it’s so easy to find. You can buy it at almost any grocery store or supermarket, where it’s usually found in the baking aisle.

However, one disadvantage when it comes to corn starch is this: you have to be careful with it. If you over-whisk it or put it in something that is already too hot, it will lose its thickening qualities, rendering it useless – and the same can also happen if it gets too cold. The best way to prevent this is to keep it at room temperature, no matter what meal you are making.

Potato Starch

Potato starch is similar to corn starch, but it comes with its own unique advantages. Like its name hints, potato starch comes from potatoes and is very easy to find in any grocery store or supermarket – much like corn starch.

Similarly, like with corn starch, potato starch is almost tasteless on its own – but when it’s mixed in with other ingredients, you notice a slight flavor change. Also, it’s gluten-free, making it a good option for those who suffer from gluten allergies.

Unlike corn starch, potato starch is much more durable and can withstand high temperatures. This makes it better to work with as you don’t have to worry about losing thickness and ruining your food.

Of course, it’s not completely immune to heat damage; if you added it to a dish that is too hot, it would lose its thickening properties. However, it can endure more heat than corn starch, which means it’s a great choice for inexperienced bakers and cooks who are just starting out in the kitchen.


Thankfully, if you are trying to decide which thickener works best for you, corn and potato starch are interchangeable in most dishes. Naturally, there are some dishes that work well with one but are not so good with the other – so it’s wise to check which one to use based on whatever dish you intend to make.

Ultimately, though, if you want a sure-fire, easy way of thickening your food that won’t affect the flavor of your dish, then it’s hard to go wrong with purpose-made thickening agents.

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