Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as energy storage, it is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods like potatoes, maize and cassava. Pure starch is a white and odorless powder, insoluble in cold water or alcohol, it consists of two types of molecules: the branched amylopectin. Depending on the plant, starch contains 20 to 25% amylose and 75 to 80% amylopectin by weight. Glycogen, the glucose store of animals, is a more branched version of amylopectin. In industry, starch is converted into sugars, for example by malting, fermented to produce ethanol in the manufacture of beer and biofuel, it is processed to produce many of the sugars used in processed foods. Mixing most starches in warm water produces a paste, such as wheatpaste, which can be used as a thickening, stiffening or gluing agent; the biggest industrial non-food use of starch is as an adhesive in the papermaking process.

Starch can be applied to parts of some garments before ironing. The word "starch" is from a Germanic root with the meanings "strong, strengthen, stiffen". Modern German Stärke is related; the Greek term for starch, "amylon", is related. It provides the root amyl, used as a prefix for several 5-carbon compounds related to or derived from starch. Starch grains from the rhizomes of Typha as flour have been identified from grinding stones in Europe dating back to 30,000 years ago. Starch grains from sorghum were found on grind stones in caves in Ngalue, Mozambique dating up to 100,000 years ago. Pure extracted wheat starch paste was used in Ancient Egypt to glue papyrus; the extraction of starch is first described in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder around AD 77–79. Romans used it in cosmetic creams, to powder the hair and to thicken sauces. Persians and Indians used it to make dishes similar to gothumai wheat halva. Rice starch as surface treatment of paper has been used in paper production in China since 700 CE.

In addition to starchy plants consumed directly, by 2008 66 million tonnes of starch were being produced per year worldwide. In 2011, production was increased to 73 million ton. In the EU the starch industry produced about 8.5 million tonnes in 2008, with around 40% being used for industrial applications and 60% for food uses, most of the latter as glucose syrups. In 2017 EU production was 11 million ton of which 9,4 million ton was consumed in the EU and of which 54% were starch sweeteners; the US produced about 27.5 million tons of starch in 2017, of which about 8.2 million tons was high fructose syrup, 6.2 million tons was glucose syrups, 2.5 million tons were starch products. The rest of the starch was used for producing ethanol. Most green plants store energy as starch, packed into semicrystalline granules; the extra glucose is changed into starch, more complex than glucose. Young plants live on this stored energy in their roots and fruits until it can find suitable soil in which to grow.

An exception is the family Asteraceae. Inulin-like fructans are present in grasses such as wheat, in onions and garlic and asparagus. In photosynthesis, plants use light energy to produce glucose from carbon dioxide; the glucose is used to generate the chemical energy required for general metabolism, to make organic compounds such as nucleic acids, lipids and structural polysaccharides such as cellulose, or is stored in the form of starch granules, in amyloplasts. Toward the end of the growing season, starch accumulates in twigs of trees near the buds. Fruit, seeds and tubers store starch to prepare for the next growing season. Glucose is soluble in water, binds with water and takes up much space and is osmotically active; the semicrystalline granules consist of concentric layers of amylose and amylopectin which can be made bioavailable upon cellular demand in the plant. Glucose molecules are bound in starch by the hydrolyzed alpha bonds; the same type of bond is found in the animal reserve polysaccharide glycogen.

This is in contrast to many structural polysaccharides such as chitin and peptidoglycan, which are bound by beta bonds and are much more resistant to hydrolysis. The amylose/amylopectin ratio, molecular weight and molecular fine structure influences the physicochemical properties as well as energy release of different types of starches. In addition and food processing impacts starch digestibility and energy release. Starch can be classified as digestible digestible and resistant starch. Raw starch granules resist digestion by human enzymes and do not break down into glucose in the small intestine - they reach the large intestine instead and function as prebiotic dietary fiber; when starch granules are gelatinized and cooked, the starch becomes digestible and releases glucose within the small intestine. When starchy foods are cooked and cooled, some of the glucose chains re-crystallize and become resistant to digestion again. Digestible starch can be found in raw cereals, where digestion is slow but complete within the small intestine.

Plants produce starch by first converting glucose 1-phosphate to ADP-glucose using the enzyme glucose-1-phosphate adenylyltransferase. This

Bergur Þórisson

Bergur Þórisson is an Icelandic musician and audio engineer. He is one half of the neo-classical post-rock duo Hugar, musical director for Björk, frequent collaborator of Ólafur Arnalds. Bergur played the trombone. After graduating from Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð in 2012, Bergur was accepted into Juilliard but decided not to pursue it, he took one semester of engineering at Reykjavík University. Bergur joined Ólafur Arnalds in writing the music for the 2013 British TV series Broadchurch, for which Ólafur was awarded the BAFTA awards. Bergur toured with Ólafur around Europe. Bergur was the audio engineer on Björk's 2017 Grammy-nominated album and toured with her on stage on her Cornucopia tour. Other collaborators include Sigur Rós, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arnór Dan. Bergur has a small scale production of microphones. Bergur started the neo-classical post-rock duo Hugar along with his childhood friend Pétur Jónsson in 2012, their self-titled album was given out for free online. They signed with Sony USA and published their second album, Varða, in 2019.

The band perfomed at Iceland Airwaves in 2017, 2018, 2019. As of 2019 the band has 50 million plays on Spotify. Bergur and Pétur wrote the score for the 2019 film The Vasulka Effect about artists Steina and Woody Vasulka. Official website


Beowülf is a crossover thrash metal band formed in Venice Beach, California in 1981 by Michael Alvarado, Dale Henderson, Mike Jensen and Paul Yamada. The group never gained a large mainstream success, but is considered one of the first bands that defined the "Venice Scene" in the 1980s, along with Suicidal Tendencies, Los Cycos, Neighborhood Watch, No Mercy and Uncle Slam, who all played a mix of skate punk, heavy metal and thrash; as of 2011, Beowülf has released six studio albums. They split up in 1995, but reformed in 2000; the band has had numerous line-up changes and Henderson has been the only constant member. Their classic line-up is Mike Jensen, Paul Yamada and Michael Alvarado; the band started in 1981 as Black Sheep with Dale Henderson on vocals and guitar, former Neighborhood Watch guitar player Mike Jensen on guitar, Paul Tsutomu Yamada on bass and Mike Jensen's cousin, Roger DeGiacomi, on drums. The band played many parties and clubs in Venice in 1981-1982 before DeGiacomi became the band manager and was replaced by Michael Alvarado on drums in 1983, changing the name of the band to Beowülf or BWF as they wrote it in Venice "graffiti slang".

In 1985, they were signed to Mike Muir's Suicidal Records and recorded two tracks, "Taste the Steel" and "Unicorn", for the legendary Welcome to Venice compilation. In 1986, they recorded their first self-titled LP, released on Suicidal Records and featured their trademark sound, a cross between Suicidal Tendencies and Motörhead, Dale Henderson's vocals sounding a lot like Lemmy's; this record had them noticed by Caroline Records, where they followed Suicidal Excel. They recorded their second album, Lost My Head... But I'm Back on the Right Track, released in 1988 on Caroline which featured the same line-up and was in the same vein as their first. Around the beginning of the 1990s, conflicts reported arose between the band members and they separated. Dale Henderson kept the Beowülf name and hired Clint Schuyler to play guitar, Kevin Sullivan to play bass and Rich Rowan to play drums and he recorded Un-Sentimental, released in 1993 on Restless Records with that line-up. Un-Sentimental was way less appreciated than the band's first two efforts, notably because there was only one original member in the band and the sound had changed a bit, drifting more to bluesy rock and going away from the hardcore thrash of their beginning.

In 1994 the band line-up underwent changes before recording the band's fourth album in Seattle for Restless Records and hired Buckit to play guitar, childhood friend and former EVOL bassist Dug Mug Swanson and Denish Chaudhuri to play drums. They released 2 Cents in 1995, toured Europe and had a song in the cult film Tank Girl. Tank Girl director Rachel Talalay did the band's video for the song "2 Cents". In 1995, original bass player Paul Yamada died of a drug overdose and that had a huge effect on Dale Henderson, who decided he was over with Beowülf, he concentrated on the band Kool-Whip. He called back Rowan and Sullivan and added Gimmi on second guitar and the new band had a more hard rock sound, they played clubs and released two albums The Now, nominated for best rock album at the 2002 L. A. Music Awards, Dirty Movie in 2007. Despite Kool-Whip's apparent success, Dale Henderson, purportedly struck with nostalgia and ready to play the old Beowülf songs again, the band returned to the name Beowülf and started touring again playing the Beowülf music, keeping the same personnel.

They re-released the first two LP's as one CD called The Re-Releases in 2004 on I Scream Records with one new track recorded in 2004. They started working on a new record, their second for I Scream, in 2005 while relentlessly touring Europe. Titled Westminister & 5th, it was released in April 2007 and featured Henderson, Rowan and former Strain 999 guitar player Stefan Crapia on guitar. Beowülf released their sixth studio album, Jesus Freak, in the summer of 2011, it was produced by frontman Dale Henderson and former Fear Factory guitarist/bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. They announced that longtime bassist Sean Otero had left Beowülf and was replaced by former Suicidal Tendencies bassist Louiche Mayorga, on the new album; as of September 2011, according to Beowülf's official website, Mayorga is no longer in the band and his replacement is former Fear Factory member Christian Olde Wolbers. In 2015 Neighborhood Watch Guitarist Mark Conway joined the band replacing Stefan Mark Anthony. Mike Jensen passed away from unknown causes on February 13th, 2020.

Dale Henderson - Vocals, guitar Mike “Milkbone” Jensen - guitar Thad Coleman - bass guitar Vince “Chente” Sollecito - Drums Christopher "Wildebeest" Massey - Guitar Mike Jensen - Guitar Clint Schuyler - Guitar Buckit - Guitar Gimmi - Guitar Stefan Mark Anthony - Guitar Paul Yamada - Bass Kevin Sullivan - Bass Dug Mug Swanson - Bass Sean Otero - Bass Louiche Mayorga - Bass Roger DeGiacomi - Drums Michael Alvarado - Drums Denish Chaudhuri - Drums Rich Rowen - Drums Christian Olde Wolbers - Bass Welcome to Venice The Re-Releases Farewell to Venice Welcome 2 Venice Official Beowülf Website Official Beowülf MySpace page