Two hydrothermal treatment processes (DV-HMT and DIC treatment) were investigated on standard maize starch for three processing temperatures; 100, 110 and 120°C. The gravimetric change of starch powder during the treatment was analyzed by a simultaneous water diffusion and starch reaction model. The effective diffusivity coefficient (Deff) and reaction rate constant (k) were estimated by minimizing the error between experimental and analytical results. The values of Deff and k clearly increased with temperature. The degree of starch melting was evaluated for the two treatments using the first-order reaction model as a function of processing time. The results suggest that the absorption process is controlled by water–starch reactivity that induces melting phenomenon of starch crystallites, which progresses when temperature increases. The two hydrothermal treatments considerably differ: DIC being more prone to water absorption as demonstrated by the values of Deff and k.