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Tapioca Starch vs Flour: Are They Both the Same?

Tapioca starch vs flour? Do you think they are different? Have you ever used them for cooking or baking purposes? If yes, then you might be familiar with tapioca starch. It is the same as tapioca flour. There is no difference between both of them. Like other starches, tapioca flour is a very fine white powder that works well in gluten-free baking.

Tapioca starch or flour can replace cornstarch as a thickener for pies, gravies, pudding, doughs, and sauces. It aids in creating a crispy crust and chewy texture in baking. The article is going to give you the knowledge of different starches including tapioca starch and will help you decide which one is better for cooking and health.

Table of Content

Is Tapioca Starch the Same as Tapioca Flour?

Tapioca starch vs tapioca flour! Are tapioca flour and tapioca starch the same? People often ask if tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same things. So yes, they both are the same and are used as a thickening agent in cooking as well as baking.

Tapioca flour or tapioca starch is a naturally gluten-free flour that is made from the starch of the cassava plant. It is slightly sweet and a little bit starchy so you only need a little bit in your baked goods. You can also combine it with other gluten-free flour like rice flour. 


Is tapioca starch the same as flour? Yes, we can’t make any comparison between tapioca starch vs flour, because, in the United States, tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same things. It is the same thing as tapioca pearls as you would use for pudding, but tapioca flour is in grounded form. 

Tapioca flour or starch adds structure to gluten-free baking. The best part about baking with tapioca flour is that it gives baked goods a crisp crust. You can also use tapioca flour as a thickener in sauces, pies, soups, or as one to one replacement for cornstarch.

Is Cassava Starch and Tapioca Starch the Same?

Tapioca starch vs cassava flour! Are they both the same? Tapioca vs cassava or tapioca flour vs cassava flour can not be differentiated as both are the same. Tapioca flour comes from the root of a cassava plant.

Tapioca is a starchy product made from cassava tubers. These tubers are native to Brazil and South America. Cassava flour is the ground dehydrated powder of cassava root. It is also called cassava starch or tapioca starch. The starch is extracted from cassava root and ground to a powdered form. It contains fiber, protein, some vitamins, and minerals.

Cornstarch Vs Tapioca Starch

Tapioca flour vs cornstarch! Are they both alternatives for each other? Let us discuss the difference between tapioca vs cornstarch. Corn starch comes from corn as you may have guessed whereas tapioca starch or tapioca flour comes from cassava root. There is no difference between cassava starch vs cassava flour, both are the same.

The appearance of the final product is also different in both cases. Tapioca starch will give you a more glassy and transparent final product, whereas corn starch will give you a murkier liquid with a matte surface.

Tapioca starch is almost pure starch. So it is almost entirely made up of carbs. It contains only minor amounts of proteins, fats, and fiber. Due to its lack of protein and nutrients, tapioca is nutritionally inferior to most grains and flour. In short, tapioca can be considered empty calories.

Are Arrowroot and Tapioca Flour the Same?

Is arrowroot powder the same as tapioca flour? Arrowroot vs tapioca, let us discuss whether they are the same or different. Tapioca and arrowroot are not the same. Although they both are produced from tropical root vegetables, they are entirely different plants. Arrowroot starch comes from the Maranta Arundinacea plant, which is considered an herb while tapioca is obtained from the cassava root. They both are gluten-free, so they are popular thickeners for those with gluten sensitivities.

Can I use arrowroot instead of tapioca? If tapioca is used with gluten-free flours like potato starch or almond flour, you can replace it with arrowroot without too much of an effect. If you are making a highly acidic dish, you should use arrowroot instead of tapioca. Similarly, arrowroot gets slimy if used with dairy products.


So, is arrowroot and tapioca starch the same? Both of these plants are similar in that they come from tropical tubers but both are derived from different plants. They both thicken effectively and quickly. Arrowroot retains its thickness in dishes that are frozen and thawed.

Tapioca Starch vs Flour

You can not use wheat starch alone to make bread. Here we are talking about plain starch and flours can wheat starch but it does not give you a matte finish. It can not bear high-temperature cooking whereas corn starch and tapioca starch can be cooked at high temperatures for thickening gravies and baking purposes. 


Wheat flour is rich in nutrients and fibers as compared to tapioca flour. It is very healthy for human health. The nutrients and fiber we get from the wheat flour are absent in tapioca flour. 

Tapioca Starch vs Xanthan Gum

There are several options for substituting either xanthan guar gum in gluten-free baking but there is no one-size-fits-all formula. People also ask about potato starch vs potato flour. For general purpose baking, try potato flour, not potato starch or modified tapioca starch.

Xanthan gum is a sugar that is fermented by bacteria. The result is a powder that is added to any number of liquids edible or otherwise, to thicken or stabilize them. You find xanthan gum listed in so many products because it works as a thickening agent in gluten-free bakery items.

Potato Starch vs Potato Flour vs Cornstarch

Potato flour and potato starch are not the same. Tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same. It does not apply to potato starch or potato flour while potato flour is used in very specific recipes. It is used in thickening as well as adding a hint of potato flavoring and it is fantastic for thickening things like soups and gravies.

Cornstarch is derived from corn. It is cost-efficient, good for meat-based sauces, and holds at higher temperatures. Thickening with cornstarch gives a cloudy kind of residue.

Why Is Tapioca Flour Advantageous?

Following are the advantages of using tapioca flour.

  • Tapioca is gluten-free, nut-free, and grain-free. It won’t cause problems for people with celiac diseases, gluten sensitivities, and nut allergies.
  • Tapioca flour can be found in many gluten-free products. It is a good option for allergen-free baking at home.
  • It is also an alternative to white flour for thickening soups, sauces, and pie fillings.
  • Tapioca is known for being easy on the stomach. Many people find it easier to digest the flour made with grains and nuts.
  • Tapioca may be considered as a source of calories and energy during digestive flares from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.

The Bottom Line

Tapioca starch vs flour, both are the same. Tapioca flour is a starchy product made from cassava plants. Tapioca is available as flours, meals, flakes, and pearls. It is also used to make boba balls in boba tea. People used to extract the root of cassava or yuca to produce tapioca. They use this powder as an ingredient in many dishes.

Tapioca has become so popular nowadays since it contains no gluten unlike other types of starch and brings no harm to the human body. Neither of these starches is a Nutritional powerhouse but tapioca holds a small edge over cornstarch since it has a higher concentration of a few nutrients.


Is tapioca starch and flour the same?

Yes, tapioca starch and flour are the same. Tapioca starch is also called tapioca flour and is extracted from a tuberous plant root that is called cassava.

Can you use tapioca starch instead of flour?

Yes, tapioca starch can be used instead of flour in making tapioca balls or for cooking and baking purposes. It is also used as a thickening agent in soups and gravies.

Why is tapioca starch bad for you?

Tapioca starch lacks essential nutrients but it enhances body weight. These are mostly the empty calories. So you do not get a considerable amount of nutrients from tapioca rather you end up putting on more weight.

What makes tapioca flour different?

Tapioca flour is different from others as it gives a glossy appearance to the dishes. Moreover, it tastes good and can be used for cooking multiple dishes.

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