Starch is the primary component of most plant storage organs – tubers, cereal grains and legume seeds – and provides an essential food energy source for the global human population. Starch also contributes greatly to the structure (texture or viscosity) of a wide range of home-prepared and manufactured foods. Thus increased understanding of the granule synthesis and its behaviour in modern food processing is of vital importance to both manufacturers and consumers. This book is the second in a series on Starch: Structure and Function and presents the proceedings of an international conference held at Churchill College, Cambridge from 27-29 March 2000. The meeting, organised by the Food Chemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry, followed a highly successful meeting held in April 1996 (Starch: Structure and Functionality, 1997, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge) and adopted a similar formula. Invited speakers provided key contributions on starch structure and characterisation, processing and ingredient functionality, and control of starch biosynthesis. Submitted research papers and posters delivered the latest information in various facets of these areas. The meeting was attended by biologists, chemists, food technologists, geneticists, nutritionists and physicists, so care was taken to ensure that lecture sessions were each made up of a range of topics to encourage inter-disciplinary discussion and promote wider understanding. However, for this book, chapters have been rearranged as far as possible to group similar topics together. The editors sincerely hope that this volume will provide a valuable reference compilation of the advances made in this field since 1996.