- In this study, potato and bean starches were treated by gamma-irradiation up to 50kGy. Molecular structure and physicochemical properties of irradiated potato and bean starches were investigated. Microscopic observation under scanning electron microscope (SEM) and polarized microscope showed that some of potato and bean starch granules were destroyed by gamma-irradiation and the breakage was much greater at a higher dose (50 kGy). Carboxyl content and amylose leaching increased, whereas the swelling factor and apparent amylose content decreased after irradiation in both potato and bean starches. The proportions of short (DP 6-12) and long (DP > or = 37) amylopectin chains as well as average chain length increased with increasing irradiation dose. However, the proportion of DP 13-24 decreased by irradiation. The relative crystallinity, the degree of granule surface order, and gelatinization enthalpy decreased with an increase in irradiation dose. The extent of decrease in potato starch was greater than that in bean starch. The exothermic peak around 90-110 degrees C was observed in DSC thermogram when the potato starch was irradiated at 50 kGy. The pasting viscosity significantly decreased with an increase in irradiation dose. The proportion of slowly digestible starch (SDS) decreased and resistant starch (RS) content increased by irradiation in both potato and bean starches. However, the rapidly digestible starch (RDS) of potato starch increased with increasing irradiation dose, whereas the bean starch showed the opposite trend to potato starch in RDS content.