The effects of heat–moisture treatment (HMT; moisture content of 25%, at 100°C for 24 h) on starch chain distribution and unit chain distribution of amylopectin in normal rice, waxy rice, normal corn, waxy corn, normal potato, and waxy potato starches were investigated. After HMT, starch chain distribution (amylose and amylopectin responses) of waxy corn and potato starches were identical to those of untreated starches, whereas the chromatographic response of waxy rice starch showed a slight decrease, but with a slight increase in peak tailing. This result indicated that HMT had no (or very limited) effect on the degradation of amylopectins. Analysis of unit chain distribution of amylopectins revealed that waxy characteristics affected the molecular structure of amylopectin in untreated starches, i.e., the CL of normal-type starches was greater than that of waxy-type starches. After HMT, the CL and unit chain distribution of all starches were no different than those of untreated starches. The results implied that changes in the physico-chemical properties of HMT starches would be due to other phenomena rather than the degradation of amylopectin molecular structure. However, the thermal degradation of amylopectin molecules of waxy starches could occur by HMT at higher treatment temperatures (120 and 140°C).
Amylopectin structure; Corn starch; Heat–moisture treatment; Potato starch; Rice starch