Single potato starch granules were hydrated by a microdrop generator and followed in situ by microdiffraction at the ID13 beamline . A fast hydration step with a half-life of about 7 seconds was found to initiate the process. We plan to extend these experiments to higher temperatures and to study the breakdown of the starch microstructure during gelatinisation.
Figure: a) fibre diffraction pattern of a hydrated starch granule; b) time-sequence of radial intensity distribution of patterns recorded during hydration. Note the strong increase in the 100 reflection intensity with hydration.
 H. Lemke, M. Burghammer, D. Flot, M, Rössle and C. Riekel, Biomacromolecules (2004) ASAP Article, DOI: 10.1021/bm0499536