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Subject: Wheat starch paste

Wheat starch paste

From: Sandy Hempe <hempes>
Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2002
I would very much appreciate hearing some opinions on instant wheat
pastes. We have always used cooked wheat starch paste in our lab. We
make it on Monday morning, store it under deionized water, change
the water daily, and use it all week.  On the whole this has worked
well, but some days the consistency of the paste and its adhesive
properties will be better than others, and after a couple of days it
doesn't seem to dilute quite as smoothly as it did when it was first

We recently purchased some instant wheat paste powder for some
workshop kits, and I've been trying it out so that I can better
instruct the workshop participants in its use.  I have to admit that
I like it very much.  You can mix up a fresh batch every morning in
about a minute, the texture is very nice, it is easily reversible in
water, and the adhesion is stronger than any cooked paste I've used.
I had never really considered using instant paste myself, but I'm
wondering now, why not?  I know there must be reasons - easier is
seldom really better--but I don't know what the reasons are.

One thing might be that what we bought is called wheat paste, not
wheat starch paste.  When I called the distributor of the paste that
we bought, I was told that there was no such thing as instant wheat
starch paste. However, I have since seen other instant pastes that
claim to be pure pre-cooked wheat starch with no additives.  I
confess I'm confused, and would appreciate any information and
opinions that anyone has on the subject.

    **** Moderator's comments: Your distributor misunderstood; it is
    the starch in wheat that provides paste's adhesivity, whether
    the paste be "instant" or not.

Sandy Hempe
Missouri State Archives

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:6
                  Distributed: Tuesday, July 16, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-6-012
Received on Wednesday, 10 July, 2002

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