Abstract Gelatinization behaviours of cornstarch with different amylose/amylopectin content (waxy: 0/100, maize: 23/77, Gelose 50: 50/50 and Gelose 80: 80/20) were systematically studied by DSC using stainless steel high pressure pan as functions of water content (9–75%) and temperature (0–200 °C). The number of endotherm and enthalpy of gelatinization depend on amylose/amylopectin, moisture and lipid content. A unique endotherm for the high amylose starch Gelose 80 was detected and labelled as M3. Gelatinization endotherms G, Ml and M2 in different cornstarches showed similar thermal behaviours and variation patterns. The enthalpy of gelatinization was calculated individually and through summarization of all the gelatinization endotherms. The gelatinization enthalpy of amylopectin rich starch is higher than that of amylose rich starch. Total enthalpy of gelatinization increased with increasing amylopectin and water contents.