Home‎ > ‎Food Processing‎ > ‎

Maize starch

1.Product Description: Like other commercial starches, maize starch has many uses. It is used as food in puddings, soup and gravy thickeners, as cold or hot water laundry starch, as a preferential water absorber in baking powder, in the manufacture of confectionery, in sizing and finishing textiles and papers, as a binding agent in papers, in making adhesive pastes, in conversion to dextrin’s, which are the bases of many adhesives, in syrup and sugars, as a binding and diluting agent in the preparation of pharmaceutical products such as pills and tablets, in cosmetics, etc. In addition the production of maize starch yields some by-products that have a high commercial value.


2. Market Potential:  While maize is available in the country for producing enough quantity of starch, the product is imported to meet the input needs of the various industries which use maize starch. The various uses of maize starch which range from puddings to pharmaceutical ingredients indicate a large demand for the product in the country. Specific figures as to the annual demand for maize starch is not available since different  but similar products are lumped together in the import statistics. However, given the variety of uses of maize starch, one can safely assume that the demand for the product justifies the establishment of a maize starch producing factory in the country. Maize is one the major grains which is produced in the Amhara Region. If the maize starch producing plant is established in the region, it will have enough raw materials for the plant.  


Imports of Commercial Starch


Year E.C

Import of Maize Starch

Total Imports (In Tons)































Source: Compiled from CSA’s Import Data of Different Years.

3. Source of Raw materials: All “Kola” and Low “Woina dega” areas of the Amhara Region are suitable for producing maize.


4. Process and Technology:  Maize is cleaned and transported in to steeping vats. The steeping water has a temperature of maximum 520C which is maintained by circulation via a heat–exchanger. To facilitate the gluten separation about 0.2 to 0.3% sulphurous acid is added. This additive also bleaches the starch. The steeped maize is discharged by screw conveyors to the de-germinating mill. It breaks up the maize kernels and sets the germs free without damaging them. The maize slurry drops into the germ separator where the fat-containing germs are separated from the slurry and flow into a container. They are pumped into a washing machine and a dewatering press.

The germs are then dried and ready for storage. Having high value edible oil content of about 45%, the germs can be used for oil extraction. The maize slurry flows into the container and is pumped to the refiner mill. For coarse fiber washing, the slurry is delivered to an extraction section. The starch milk is collected in raw milk vessels equipped with stirrers. The crude starch milk is pumped to the extraction section for fine fiber washing. From the extractors the starch milk flows to the container. This is followed by a series of filtering and refining processes which results in high quality maize starch. By-products of the process include high quality animal feed. Required machinery and equipment include about 24 units of machines and instruments. The main ones are cleaning device, steeping device, germ separation unit, germ washing unit, dewatering press, germ dryer, maize slurry mill, washing unit, extraction unit, washing unit, extraction unit, starch milk filtry device, etc…  


5. Estimated Investment: For a plant which can produce 8000 tons of maize starch per year, the estimated investment will be -

    • Building/shade 800m2 at Birr 2500/m2 …………= Birr    2,000,000
    • Machinery ……………………………………..  = Birr  50,300,000
    • Working capital ……………………………..   = Birr     3,000,000

                                                                       Total………….. = Birr     55,300,000


6. Benefits: Similar to other projects.


7. Location: Bahir Dar.