Five commercially available starches modified with octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) are characterized at a molecular, physicochemical and bulk level providing useful data for designing pharmaceutical products. The degree of substitution (DS) of the starches range from 0.017 to 0.032 and their molecular weights (Mw) and radius of gyration (Rz) are lower than those of native starch, suggesting additional modification processes besides the chemical treatment with OSA. The ability of the starches to reduce the water surface tension keeps a direct relationship with the DS and an inverse association with the Mw. Thermal properties, crystallinity assays and morphology evidence that most modified starches characterize by amorphous aggregated structures, possibly generated by gelatinization processes, which favor the flow properties of the powders. Water sorption and surface energy behaviors seem to be related to the number of octenyl succinate (OS) moieties. After dispersion in water, shear-thinning and Newtonian behaviors also depend on the type of OS-starch.