Although cornstarch is a ubiquitous culinary ingredient, it can induce abdominal pain or an intestinal blockage in some people, according to MedlinePlus. It’s unlikely that ingesting cooking cornstarch will cause long-term or serious problems, but ingesting starch used for laundry can be very dangerous.
Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening in sauces and gravies, and ingesting it in this form has no health risks. Pica is a disorder in which some people seek the sensation of consuming starch or other powdered things. These people may consume enough starch to cause injury to their digestive systems. Cornstarch, when consumed in high amounts, can produce pain or even a blockage, according to MedlinePlus. If a person is in pain, unable to swallow liquids, or has other serious symptoms, they should seek medical attention right once.
According to About.com, because cornstarch includes trace amounts of maize protein, those with corn allergies may develop allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Cornstarch is sometimes used to coat the inside of plastic food wrappers or paper food packaging; people who are allergic to maize should be aware of all possible sources.
Clothing is stiffened using laundry starch, which is a type of cornstarch. According to MedlinePlus, eating laundry starch can be extremely harmful and should be addressed as a poisoning episode. Jaundice, diarrhoea, vomiting, convulsions, blisters, fever, and coma are all side effects of consuming washing starch.