Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in many staple foods. The major sources of starch worldwide are cereals (rice, wheat, and maize) and root vegetables (potatoes and cassava). As an additive for food processing, food starches are typically used as thickeners and stabilizers in foods such as puddings, custards, soups, sauces, gravies, pie fillings, and salad dressings and to make noodles and pastas.
Papermaking is the largest non-food application for starch globally, consuming millions of metric tons annually. Another large non-food starch application is in the construction industry, where starch is used in the gypsum wall board manufacturing process. Starch is used in the manufacture of various adhesives or glues for book-binding, wallpaper adhesives, paper sack production, tube winding, gummed paper, envelope adhesives, school glues and bottle labeling.
Clothing or laundry starch is a liquid that is prepared by mixing a vegetable starch in water and is used in the laundering of clothes. The product is sold in aerosol cans for home use.