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Modified Corn Starch

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is Modified Corn Starch?

Starches are typically derived from corn or potato. Starches are used in the pharmaceutical industry for a wide variety of reasons, such as an excipient, a tablet and capsule diluent, a tablet and capsule disintegrant, a glidant, or as binder. Disintegrants enable tablets and capsules to break down into smaller fragments (dissolve) so that the drug can be released for absorption.[1] Starches also absorb water rapidly, allowing tablets to disintegrate appropriately.

Starches are also used in the food manufacturing industry for processing, and as food thickeners or stabilizers. There are many other diverse uses for starches in the manufacturing industry. Pregelatinized starch derives primarily from corn, has been cooked and then dried. Instant puddings, pie fillings, soup mixes, salad dressings, candy often contain pregelatinized starch.[2] Modified corn starch, derived from maize, has been modified in various ways to enhance stability in the manufacturing process.

Pregelatinized starches (dried, cooked starches) are highly digestible. Consumption of excessive quantities of raw starch has resulted in obesity and iron-deficiency anemia in human subjects. However, there is no evidence to suspect a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future; indeed corn starch is often used in daily cooking.[3]

[1] Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008 http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drugtopics/Top+News/Overview-of-pharmaceutical-excipients-used-in-tabl/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/561047. Accessed 08/19/2011

[2] David A Bender. Starch, Pregelatinized. A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. 2005. Retrieved March 19, 2012 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O39-starchpregelatinized.html

[3] FDA’s SCOGS database; Wheat Starch; SCOGS-Report Number: 115; http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=scogsListing&id=365 Accessed March 19, 2012.

Top Medications Containing Modified Corn Starch