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Corn Flour vs. Arrowroot — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 27, 2023
Corn flour is a finely ground powder made from corn, used as a thickener in cooking. Arrowroot is a starchy powder, often used as a substitute for corn flour, derived from the roots of the arrowroot plant and is gluten-free.
Corn Flour vs. Arrowroot — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Corn Flour and Arrowroot

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Key Differences

Corn flour, obtained from the milling process of corn, is renowned for its application as a thickener in numerous culinary dishes. Arrowroot, a starchy substance extracted from various tropical plants, similarly stands out as a thickening agent, but distinctively, in clearer and glossier finishes in culinary items. Both corn flour and arrowroot are common in the culinary world, especially in sauces and gravies, though they derive from substantially different sources and have varying impacts on the consistency and appearance of dishes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023
Corn flour often presents a slightly yellowish tint, impacting the color of the dishes it’s incorporated into. Conversely, arrowroot is typically neutral in color and therefore does not alter the visual aspect of a dish significantly. Both corn flour and arrowroot are utilized for their capacity to alter the consistency of food items, though the visual outcomes, particularly concerning color, can be notably different due to their individual characteristics.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023
In terms of nutritional value, corn flour often contains a modest amount of fiber and protein since it's derived directly from corn. Arrowroot, while not especially nutrient-dense, is acclaimed for being an easily digestible starch and is often recommended for dietary use in certain digestive conditions. While both corn flour and arrowroot are not particularly renowned for their nutritional benefits, subtle differences exist that can be significant in specific dietary contexts.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023
Allergenic considerations differentiate corn flour and arrowroot as well. Corn flour, being a corn product, can be allergenic to individuals with a corn allergy. Arrowroot is generally considered hypoallergenic and is often selected as a thickening agent for those with various food intolerances or allergies. While both products serve similar purposes in cooking, considerations regarding food allergies and intolerances can determine the preference between corn flour and arrowroot.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023
In relation to gluten content, corn flour does not contain gluten, making it a viable option in gluten-free cooking. Arrowroot is similarly gluten-free and can be utilized in various dishes where gluten presence is undesirable or harmful, such as in gluten-free baking. Both corn flour and arrowroot provide options for those adhering to gluten-free diets, though they may impart different textures and finishes to the final dish.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Source

Corn
Tropical plants
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Color

Usually yellowish
Generally neutral
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Nutritional Content

Contains some fiber and protein
Not particularly nutrient-dense
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Allergenic Considerations

Can be allergenic (corn allergy)
Generally considered hypoallergenic
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Gluten Content

Gluten-free
Gluten-free
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Corn Flour

Corn flour is widely used as a thickening agent in cooking.
Corn flour made the sauce rich and creamy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Arrowroot

Arrowroot is often utilized as a thickening agent in culinary dishes.
She added arrowroot to thicken the gravy without altering its color.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Corn Flour

Corn flour often possesses a slightly yellowish color.
The corn flour added a subtle yellow tint to the custard.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Arrowroot

Arrowroot can provide a clear, glossy finish to dishes.
To achieve a clear, shiny sauce, he stirred in arrowroot.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Corn Flour

Corn flour is gluten-free and used in various gluten-free recipes.
She opted for corn flour to make gluten-free bread.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Arrowroot

Arrowroot is a starchy substance derived from tropical plants.
Arrowroot provided the pie filling with a glossy finish.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Corn Flour

Corn flour is a finely ground powder made from corn.
She used corn flour to thicken the soup.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Arrowroot

Arrowroot is generally considered hypoallergenic.
For the allergy-friendly recipe, she used arrowroot instead of corn flour.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Corn Flour

Corn flour can be used in baking and cooking.
He replaced the wheat flour with corn flour in the cookie recipe.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Arrowroot

A starch obtained from the rhizomes of a tropical American perennial herb (Maranta arundinacea). It is used especially in cooking as a thickener.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

The rhizome of this plant, cooked and eaten as a vegetable or used for starch extraction.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

The plant itself.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

The edible starch obtained from the rhizomes or tubers of various other plants, including coontie.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

Any of these plants.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

Maranta arundinacea from the Marantaceae family, a large perennial herb native to the Caribbean area with green leaves about 15 centimeters long.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

Usually preceded by an attributive word: some other plant whose rhizomes are used to prepare a substance similar to arrowroot (sense 3), such as Zamia integrifolia (Florida arrowroot) or Pueraria montana var. lobata (Japanese arrowroot or kudzu).
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

(uncountable) A starchy substance obtained from the rhizomes of an arrowroot plant used as a thickener.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

A white-flowered west Indian plant of the genus Maranta, esp. Maranta arundinacea, now cultivated in many hot countries. Its root yields arrowroot starch. It said that the Indians used the roots to neutralize the venom in wounds made by poisoned arrows.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

A nutritive starch obtained from the rootstocks of Maranta arundinacea, and used as food, esp. for children an invalids; also, a similar starch obtained from other plants, as various species of Maranta and Curcuma.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

A nutritive starch obtained from the root of the arrowroot plant
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

White-flowered West Indian plant whose root yields arrowroot starch
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

Canna grown especially for its edible rootstock from which arrowroot starch is obtained
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Arrowroot

Arrowroot is gluten-free and can be used in various dietary applications.
He used arrowroot to make the gluten-free cake binder.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 10, 2023

Common Curiosities

Is arrowroot a type of flour?

Arrowroot is not a flour but a starchy substance derived from tropical plants.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Can corn flour be used in gluten-free recipes?

Yes, corn flour is gluten-free and can be used in gluten-free recipes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Does arrowroot alter the color of dishes?

No, arrowroot is neutral in color and generally doesn’t affect the color of dishes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

What is corn flour made from?

Corn flour is made from finely ground corn.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Can corn flour be used as a thickening agent?

Yes, corn flour is commonly used to thicken sauces, soups, and stews.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Is arrowroot hypoallergenic?

Generally, yes, arrowroot is considered hypoallergenic.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Can arrowroot be used in baking?

Yes, arrowroot can be used as a binding or thickening agent in baking.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Does corn flour contain gluten?

No, corn flour is naturally gluten-free.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Can I substitute corn flour for wheat flour in baking?

Yes, but it may alter the texture and flavor, and ratios may need adjusting.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Is corn flour the same as cornmeal?

No, corn flour is more finely ground than cornmeal.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Is corn flour considered hypoallergenic?

No, corn flour may cause issues for those with a corn allergy.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

What is the primary use of arrowroot in cooking?

Arrowroot is primarily used as a thickener and to provide a glossy finish to dishes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Can arrowroot replace corn flour in recipes?

Yes, arrowroot can replace corn flour, especially as a thickening agent.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Does arrowroot have a strong flavor?

No, arrowroot is relatively flavorless and doesn’t impact the taste of dishes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

Can corn flour and arrowroot be used interchangeably?

Often, yes, but textures and finishes may slightly differ in the final dish.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 27, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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