What is the difference between cornflour, corn starch, maize flour and maize meal?

If you are confused, I feel you. I find corn flour a confusing subject because the same flour is called different things depending on which country you are in. Also, it depends on what the manufacture decides to put on the label. There is often inconsistency of labelling across products, which doesn’t make it easy.

Let me try to explain!

What is cornflour? What is corn starch? Are corn flour and maize flour the same thing?

maize meal versus corn flour

USA & UK difference in names

1. Corn flour versus maize meal or maize flour

Corn flour in the USA is called maize flour or maize meal in the UK. Sometimes it is also called cornmeal or corn flour in the UK depending on what the company decides to label it with.

The important thing for UK readers to note is that cornflour (all one word) in the UK is super fine, pure starch used for thickening gravy and things with. Cornflour (all one word) in the UK is not maize meal, maize flour or corn flour (two words).

2. Corn starch versus cornflour

Corn starch in the USA is called cornflour in the UK.

It is very finely milled and processed.

The colour of corn starch (USA) or cornflour (UK) is white.

cornflour UK or corn starch USA

What does corn flour or maize flour/meal look like?

Corn flour (USA) or maize flour/meal (UK) is normally a yellow flour made from finely grinding whole corn kernels.

maize meal uk or corn flour USA

Corn and maize are the same thing

If you are in the USA you will tend to use the word corn. However, if you are in the UK you tend to use the word maize.

Corn and maize are the same thing.

It’s that simple.

For a full article on the difference between main and corn, here’s an article from the Horticulture Magazine in the UK… Maize versus Corn – what’s the difference?

Which maize flour do I use here in the UK?

This is the maize flour that I have been using in my recipes here in the UK…

Organic maize Flour UK

This is also a good one…

Another good organic maize flour UK

Which corn flour does my mam use in the USA?

This is the maize flour (called CORN FLOUR in USA) that my Mam has been using in the USA…

Organic stone ground corn flour USA

I hope that clarifies things for you. Please do let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have any information that can help us further.

With Love