The effects of ferulic acid and catechin on starch pasting properties were studied as part of an investigation into the structure and functionality of phenolics in starch-based products. Commercial maize starch, starches from sorghum cultivars (SV2, Chirimaugute, and DC-75), and the phenolic compounds ferulic acid and catechin were used in the investigation. Pasting properties were measured using rapid viscosity analysis. Ferulic acid and catechin (up to 100 mg each) were added to maize or sorghum starch (3 g, 14% mb) in suspensions containing 10.32% dry solid content. Addition of catechin resulted in pink-colored pastes, whereas ferulic acid had no effect on paste color. Ferulic acid and catechin decreased hot paste viscosity (HPV), final viscosity, and setback viscosity of maize and sorghum starch pastes, but had no influence on the peak viscosity (PV) of the former. Both phenolics increased breakdown viscosity. Ferulic acid had greater influence on HPV, final viscosity, breakdown, and setback than catechin. Addition of catechin under acidic conditions (pH 3) decreased HPV, final viscosity, and setback of maize starch, but alkaline conditions (pH 11) slightly increased setback. Both acidic and alkaline conditions resulted in increased breakdown. Investigations on model-system interactions between ferulic acid or catechin and starch demonstrated that phenolic type and pH level both significantly influence starch pasting properties, with ferulic acid producing a more pronounced effect than catechin. The significance of these interactions is important, especially in food matrices where phenolics are to be added as functional food ingredients.