Consumer concerns to synthetic chemicals have led to strong preference for ‘clean’ label starches. Lipidand hydrocolloids are food friendly chemicals. This study determines the effects of stearic acid and xan-than gum alone and in combination on the functionality of maize, wheat, teff and cassava starches. Anincrease in viscosity was observed for all starches with stearic acid and xanthan gum compared to thecontrols with cassava having the least increase. A further increase in viscosity was observed for the cerealstarches with combination of stearic acid and xanthan gum. Stearic acid reduced retrogradation, resultingin soft textured pastes. Combination of stearic acid and xanthan gum reduced the formation of type IIbamylose–lipid complexes, syneresis, and hysteresis in cereal starches compared to stearic acid alone. Acombination of stearic acid and xanthan gum produce higher viscosity non-gelling starches and xanthangum addition increases physical stability to freezing and better structural recovery after shear.