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the habit of eating starch, such as laundry starch, a form of pica.


A morbid craving for starch.
Synonym(s): starch-eating
[amylo- + G. phagō, to eat]


The compulsive eating of purified starch, typically cornstarch or laundry starch.
Mentioned in: Pica
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References in periodicals archive ?
The definition can be broadened to encompass any behavior manifested by the eating of a non-food that is unusual in kind or quantity (2) including ice (pagophagia), hair, plaster, clay or dirt (geophagia), laundry and corn starch (amylophagia), ashes, and cigarette butts.
(3), (4), (6) Although not as common as geophagia, other forms of pica include eating paint chips (plumbophagia), ice/freezer frost (pagophagia), laundry starch (amylophagia) and burnt matches (cautopyreiophagia), just to name a few.
Pica Terminology Term Nonfood substance Amylophagia Laundry starch Cautopyreiophagia Burnt matches Coprophagia Feces Foliophagia Dirt, sand, clay Lithophagia Rocks, pebbles, gravel Pagophagia Ice, freezer frost Plumbophagia Paint chips Trichophagia Hair Nutritional/Dietary Factors
Several examples of pica include amylophagia (the consumption of starch), coprophagia (feces), geophagia (soil, clay, or chalk), hyalophagia (glass), pagophagia (pathological consumption of ice), trichophagia (hair or wool), urophagia (urine) and xylophagia (wood).
In another 4 patients a combination of pica and food craving was found: ice and cheese in 1 patient, ice and tomatoes (tomatophagia) in 1, ice, matches (cautopyreiophagia) and brown bread (amylophagia) in 1, and ice and cucumber in 1.
Patients with kidney disease practicing pica most commonly consume clay or dirt (geophagia), laundry starch (amylophagia), or ice (pagophagia), but the list of potential pica substances can be quite extensive.