Commercial starch pearls manufactured from sago, tapioca, sweet potato or other starches from Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore were characterized. Samples were milled and pasting properties were evaluated. There were marked differences in pasting characteristics which were attributed to the pH of the starch pearls. The milled alkaline starch pearls showed high cold paste viscosities and setback ratios while the acidic milled starch had low cold paste viscosities and setback ratios. Furthermore, in alkaline milled starch, the addition of sugar drastically lowered the setback ratios while the setback ratios of the milled acidic starches were minimally affected. From the laboratory preparation of starch pearls from commercial tuber starches (potato and cassava), it appeared that the process of pearling effected a mild starch modification which increased the stability ratio of the milled starch pearl compared to the unprocessed starch.