Tapioca Starch and its Applications

What is Tapioca Starch?

07 October 2010- Tapioca starch is a thickener and stabilizer that is used in puddings, breads, sauces, fruit pies and meat products. It does not lose it quality even on reheating and freezing. When tapioca starch is used as a thickening agent, it completely becomes clear and dissolves completely.

Tapioca is extracted from the roots of Manihot esculenta plant. These plants are popularly known as cassava plants that grows in a form of a bush. Roots of this plant are 8 cm thick 91 cm long where as the plant itself is about 8 ft tall. Tapioca is a Tupi word that means the process through which starch is made edible. Another advantage is using tapioca starch is that it is free from gluten as well as protein.

Cassava is a staple food in many parts of the world after rice and maize. It is consumed by over 500 million people across the world.

Tapioca Starch Applications

Tapioca starch is used in varied industrial as well as commercial applications. Its uses as so diverse that it can be found in almost all kinds of industries ranging from paper, textile, food and furnishings.

  • Tapioca starch has excellent binding capacity so used in adhesive industry. After mixing it with water, it becomes quiet sticky and remains like this for a long period of time. Industrial glues are also made from the high quality tapioca starch.
  • It is used as filler in compounded animal feed.
  • Tapioca starch is extensively used in many textile processes. It is required during sizing of yarn and also for finishing cotton as well as polyester fabrics. Also it is used while producing textile during its process of mixing, printing and finishing. During the process of mixing it is used as a sizing agent. Tapioca starch is also used as a finishing agent to make the fabric smooth. Also it makes the colors of the fabric very sharp and durable.
  • Tapioca starch is extensively used in many kinds of confectioneries as thickeners, gelling agent, for foam strengthening as well as film foaming and glazing. Low viscosity tapioca starch is used in jellies and gums. While casting, powdered starch is used as a mould release.
  • Tapioca starch is used in place of sucrose in beverages.
  • From this starch ethanol is also made that is used as a fuel.720 litres of ethanol is produced from 1 ton of starch.

Apart from this Tapioca starch is used in many other non-food industries. It is used as binding agent in explosive industry. In paper industry, the tapioca starch is used for filler retention, internal sizing, surface sizing and paper coating. Also it is used in the production of diapers and women sanitary products. In construction industry, tapioca starch is used to bind concrete block, clay, limestone, plywood. It is also used as paint filler in construction industry.

Apart from all these dry cell batteries, leather finishing, and printed circuit boards also use the tapioca starch.

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