Raw material bases
Potatoes are grown for production of starch mainely in Europe and to a minor extent in the United States. Today, starch , is not the only raw material extracted from industrial potatoes; both potato protein, potato fibre and fertilisers are extracted at the same time.
Tapioca is a very fast growing plant that is primarily grown in Asia and South America. It is the roots that are used for starch extraction, and these roots can be harvested up to three times a year.
Corn is by far the mayor source of starch in the world. When starch is extracted from the corn seeds there is also oil and zein (protein from corn) extracted at the same time. The highest value comes from the oil, so corn starch is a side product.
Wheat is a starch raw material that has grown in importance during the recent years due to the production of bio-based fuels. Depending of the price of bio-ethanol more or less wheat starch is produced in the factories. Wheat gluten (protein) is extracted during the production of wheat starch.
Legumes are, for example, peas and beans, and these plants have a high level of proteins. From the industrial extraction of legumes one gets proteins, used, for example, in fish food, but also considerable amounts of starch.