Yes, it’s really interesting learning about all the differences in what we consider ‘basic’ ingredients isn’t it!!
That’s why this blog is such a wonderful source of information and sharing!
I’m no expert but here is my understanding:
- Wheaten Cornflour/Cornstarch (a very fine dust like white powdered wheat starch) is produced from food grade wheat flour and so DOES contain gluten.
- Corn Cornflour/Cornstarch (also a very very fine dust like white powder) is made from maize (corn) and is gluten-free.
- The term Cornflour was used interchangeably here for many years and more often than not the wheaten one was more prevalent.
- Either type could be called just ‘cornflour’ (go figure eh!!) Now though, especially as people with coeliac/Crohn’s are becoming more aware, you usually see the word “wheaten” or “100% corn” on the packet so you can tell them apart.
- Many custard powders of my childhood contained the wheaten variety of cornstarch although now most contain the corn variety.
It is worth noting that here in Australia you also need to be careful if you have extreme gluten issues as some baking powders contain ‘cornflour’ as a carrier but it’s often the wheaten variety.