Corn starch, potato starch and frumina: differences, how to use them and how to replace them

We all know cornstarch , potato starch and frumina because we often find these ingredients in dessert recipes or in savory preparations. But how do they differ? When is it better to use one or the other? Let’s find out how to best use and how to eventually replace these natural starches and thickeners .

The starches , which are corn, wheat or potatoes, are useful in many recipes as they are used as thickeners and therefore allow you to make the right consistency to puddings, jellies, sauces, creams, etc. In other cases, however, they are useful to make some preparations softer, for example in the case of cakes and donuts.

But what are the differences between the most common products available to us? Can starches be used by swapping them? Let’s try to understand better.


  • Corn flour
  • Potato starch
  • frumina
  • Corn starch, potato starch and frumina: can they be replaced?

Corn flour

L ‘ cornstarch , known as cornstarch , is obtained by grinding the endosperm of maize grains and comes in the form of fine white powder. Not to be confused with the yellow corn flour obtained from the whole grain.
On a nutritional level, cornstarch is mainly composed of carbohydrates and one of the biggest advantages it offers is that it is a gluten-free product that can therefore also be used by those suffering from celiac disease (unlike the frumina we are talking about below).

Cornstarch is mainly used as a thickener and must be added at the end of the sieved preparation so that no lumps and cream, sauce, pudding, jelly, etc. appear. that is being prepared has a smooth and homogeneous consistency. Corn starch is also suitable for replacing, in a smaller percentage, flour in sweets in order to make them softer.

Finally, few know that corn starch can even replace eggs in some recipes. The right proportion is 1 or 2 tablespoons of cornstarch each egg.

You may also be interested in corn starch:

  • Corn starch: 10 alternative uses
  • Corn starch: properties, uses and where to find cornstarch
  • Cornstarch: properties, secrets and recipes for using it

Potato starch

In this case, starch is extracted not from the grains of a cereal, but from the potatoes. What we know with the generic name of potato starch is a perfect thickener but, compared to cornstarch and frumina, it has a finer consistency and a higher power. For this you need to be very careful about the dose to be used avoiding to exceed in order not to risk the glue effect. The correct proportion is ¼ of the total flour used for the preparation (however, there are also those who reach 1/3).

It is used exclusively (or almost) in sweet preparations. Also in this case it is a gluten-free starch also suitable for recipes for intolerant or celiac people.

On potato starch you can learn more here:

  • Potato starch: properties, uses in the kitchen and for beauty


This starch is obtained from wheat and is used, like the previous ones, both as a thickener and in leavened preparations in order to make them softer. In this case the right proportion to keep in mind is 1/3 of frumina compared to flour. The big difference with the other two solutions is that the frumina cannot be used for “gluten free” preparations and it could also be a little heavier and more difficult to digest than cornstarch and starch.

Corn starch, potato starch and frumina: can they be replaced?

Basically these 3 ingredients are interchangeable with each other, bearing in mind the different proportions that must be respected between starch and flour and the indications of the various preparations that are intended to be made. The big difference is substantially in the presence or not of gluten even if, perhaps, among these starches the one with slightly more particular characteristics is potato starch.

We can therefore conclude that it would be preferable to use the starch where the recipe requires it and also to use the other two starches interchangeably, for example if you have one available and not the other.

Leave a Comment