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International Starch Trading
Science Park Aarhus, Denmark
Tapioca Food Starch 

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Native Tapioca Starch is a food grade product refined from cassava roots.  

Starch is an important constituent in many foods. It plays an obvious role in achieving the desired viscosity in such products as cornstarch pudding, sauces, pie fillings and gravies. It plays a more subtle role in potatoes, cereals, and baked products such as biscuits, muffins, popovers, pastry, cake and bread.

It is used as a water binding and texturizing agent. It has a high viscosity, water-holding capacity and binding abilities.

It is a white to off-white powder with a moisture below 13%. The pH of a slurry in water is neutral. Tapioca Starch is very bland and clean in flavor and is not masking the flavours used.

Cooked it forms a quite clear gel with a long and slightly stringy texture. Upon cooling, it sets to a soft gel. It loses most of its thickening ability during prolonged heating and under acidic conditions. The cooked gel resambles that of potato, but the texture is less stringy and the flavor i more neutral, making it a preferred thickener in delicate foods and desserts. 

Special food applications: Extruded snacks, where it improves expansion, custard-type pie filling, where it reduces surface cracking and in baby foods as a bodying agent. In biscuits and in cream sandwiches 5-10 % tapioca starch softens the texture and renders the biscuit nonsticky.

In general it may be used as a thickener in foods not subject to rigorous processing. 

For household cooking tapioca starch is the starch of choise in thickening fruit desserts - it gives a clear dessert but with improved and "shorter" texture compared to potato starch. 

AMYLOSE AND AMYLOPECTIN Normal native starches consist of a mixture of 15-30 per cent. amylose and 70-85 per cent. amylopectin. Amylose structurally is a linear polymer of anhydroglucose units, of molecular weight approximately between 40 000 and 340 000, the chains containing 250 to 2000 anhydroglucose units. Amylopectin is considered to be composed of anhydroglucose chains with many branch points; the molecular weight may reach as high as 80 000 000 (Re. WHO). Amylose is an unbranched chain which is coiled in the shape of a helix. If iodine is added to a solution containing amylose molecules, the iodine inserts itself into the helix making it rigid. This changes the color of the starch mixture to blue or purple depending on the length of the amylose molecule. Amylopectin is a branching molecule which does not form a helical coil. Thus the iodine is not able to bind to the starch molecule. Amylose contributes to the gelling property of starch whereas amylopectin contributes high viscosity. This classic statement, however, may not be entirely valid. Both properties are used in the preparation of foods.

Starch Source % Amylose
Waxy Rice


High Amylose Corn






Waxy Sorghum




Sweet Potato








Food Applications

  • filling viscosity aid
  • suspension aid for particulates
  • opacity agent
  • body or texture agent for soups, sauces, puddings and gravies
  • aseptically canned products
  • beverages such as coffee, teas or chocolate
Cereals and Snacks
  • hot extruded snacks
  • chips, pretzels, etc.
  • extruded and fried foods
  • ready-to-eat cereals
  • pies, tarts
  • fillings, glazes
  • custards and icings
  • cakes, donuts, danish
  • icing sugar
Batters and Breadings
  • coated fried foods
  • frozen battered vegetables, fish and meat
  • dry mix coatings
Dressings, Soups and Sauces
  • mayonnaise-type
  • pourable salad dressings (high shear)
  • spoonable dressings
  • instant dry salad dressing mixes
  • low-fat dressing
  • canned gravies and sauces
  • frozen gravies and sauces
  • soups and chowders
Cooked Meat Binder
  • water binder for formed meat
  • smoked meats, low-fat meats
  • pet foods (dried and canned)
Frozen Foods
  • fruit fillings
  • meat pies
  • Oriental foods
  • soups, sauces
  • entrees
  • cream-based products
Flavours and Beverage Clouds
  • encapsulation of flavours, fats, oils vitamins, spices, clouding agents
  • spray dried flavours for dry beverage mixes, bartender mixes,
  • beverage emulsions
  • liquid and powdered non-dairy creamers
  • dusting powder
  • licorice
  • jelly gums
  • hard gums
  • panned candies
  • confectioners sugar


Dairy Products
  • yoghurt
  • cheese and imitation cheese
  • chilled desserts
  • UHT Puddings
  • low-fat products
Microwavable Products
  • cheese sauces
  • entrees



Functional Properties of Starches in Foods

  • specific viscosity (hot and cold)
  • thin boiling (faster canning heat transfer)
  • viscosity resistance acid/mechanical sheer
  • freeze-thaw stability (natural / modified)
  • gel texture, body at various temperatures
  • clarity, opacity
  • processing conditions tolerance
  • oil retention, high or low
  • resistance to . setback. (gel formation)
  • high sheen
  • flow properties
  • emulsion stabilizing capacity
  • mouthfeel, lubricity, palate-coating
  • suspension characteristics
  • adhesiveness
  • crystallinity
  • bland taste
  • long shelf-life stability
  • hygroscopicity
  • colour
  • anti-caking
  • cold-water swelling or dispersibility
  • swelling and resistance to swelling
  • film-forming properties

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International Starch Trading A/S, Science Park Aarhus, Denmark.

Keywords: tapioca,starch,application,food,binder,bodying