The best applications of tapioca starch

Most processed products on the market incorporate a thickening ingredient that gives them consistency and good texture.

Wheat flour, potato starch and cornstarch are some of the most widely used.

But in recent years another ingredient, almost unknown in Spain until very recently, has been gaining in popularity: tapioca starch.

The reason? Its high capacity to give volume and consistency without altering the organoleptic properties of the food.

It also has the advantage that it does not contain gluten. It is therefore a great alternative to wheat flour for making batter and baking doughs suitable for coeliacs.

In this post we offer you more information about this food resource that has undoubtedly come to stay.

How tapioca starch is obtained

Tapioca starch is extracted from cassava, a tuber from South America also known as cassava or manioc.

The process consists of grating the cassava root and then subjecting that flour to a washing process that separates the fibres from the starches. It is then left to dry and sprayed to improve the texture. 

There are two types of starch on the market:

  • Native starch: it is the purest. It contains only unaltered tapioca.
  • Modified starch: it undergoes a pre-gelatinization or pre-cooking process. It can be identified because it contains an E code (it is considered an additive).

In this article we refer to native starch, which is the one we work with in Barcelonesa.

Main applications of tapioca starch

Tapioca starch can be used in many sectors of the food industry.

Los más destacados son:

  • Pre-cooked dishes.
  • Sauces and soups.
  • Meat industry.
  • Dairy products.
  • Desserts.
  • Pastries and bakery.
  • Confectionery.
  • Products for coeliacs.

Advantages of tapioca starch

This thickener has numerous benefits for manufacturers who decide to incorporate it into their recipes.

The most important are:

  • Lower glycemic index: compared to other thickeners such as potato starch, tapioca takes longer to break down into glucose and pass into the blood.
  • Whiter tone, neutral smell: unlike other thickeners, tapioca does not yellow food. In addition, it does not give off any odour which could spoil the aroma.
  • More stable price: some ingredients such as potato starch suffer many ups and downs in price depending on the time of year. Tapioca starch, on the other hand, has a more predictable cost.
  • More creamy: desserts, ice creams, cheeses and other dairy products made with this starch become creamier, producing a more pleasant sensation in the mouth.
  • More elastic doughs: the mixes break less, making it easier to mould the bakery and pastry products during production.
  • Characteristic texture: tapioca provides softer and spongier textures than other thickeners. It gives the bread that airy feeling so typical of traditional bread, while the crust is crisper.
  • Improves the texture of creamy sauces: this starch is an excellent thickener for sauces such as béchamel, to which it gives a consistency that is highly appreciated by consumers.
  • Ideal for coeliacs: it is a gluten-free ingredient, so it works very well as a substitute for wheat flour in people who are intolerant to this protein. So much so that in the United States and other countries it is already the number one choice for most gluten-free food manufacturers.
  • Higher density for the meat industry: tapioca starch is a very interesting alternative to potato starch, thanks to its high binding capacity.

Do you want to incorporate tapioca starch into your food?

At Barcelonesa Food Solutions we are distributors of tapioca starch, bringing this ingredient to many companies that have already decided to use it in their products.

If you have a food manufacturing company, our experts can advise you on how to use this starch to improve the qualities of your preparations.

If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us by clicking on the ‘visit page’ button below.

Jaume Casas

Jaume Casas


Responsable Sector de Actividad

Related blog entries