The Difference Between Potato and Tapioca Starch

Monday, 3-Oct-2022 |

potato and tapioca starch

The similar usage and properties of potato starch and tapioca starch make the difference between them a hot topic. They both appear to be starch but are from different plants. Potato starch is produced from potatoes, while tapioca starch is made from the cassava plant. Both starches are free of gluten. However, they differ in terms of textures and nutrients.

What Is Potato Starch?

potato starch

Potato starch is made from the root of the potato plant. In the process of rumpling the root, starches are released. Separating and dying out the starch results in a fine white, soft powder. The powder acts as a binding agent, thickener, and glue in food preparation. It is a useful item to cook with as you can make silky and glossy sauces from it.

Furthermore, potato starch can be used in the production of a wide variety of foods like custard, noodles, pastries, sausages, bakery creams, sauces, soups, and gravies. It is also the perfect ingredient used by professionals in the baking, meat, and dry blending industries. All these are great, but there are side effects to the use of potato starch.
Using potato starch in your diet can temporarily change your digestion, causing fullness, bloating, and gas. Potato allergies are not common, but you should avoid starch-based recipes in your diet if you are potato intolerant.

Potatoes do not contain optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals, making them low in nutrients. The only thing that it contains when we talk about its nutritious value is carbohydrates. Potato starch has two major components: amylopectin and amylose, with a ratio of 4:1.

Potato starch can also be gotten from potatoes that have been genetically modified. Amflora is a typical example of a genetically modified potato. It is created specifically to produce the amylopectin component. This type of bioengineering cannot be compared to something natural that has better benefits for the body.

What Is Tapioca Starch?

tapioca starch

Just like potato starch, tapioca is extracted from the roots of cassava. It is also known as manioc root, and the starch is extracted from the roots by harvesting, collecting, drying, pounding, and processing them after they have reached full maturity.

Once the extraction is complete, a fine light-yellow powder is obtained. Just like potato starch, tapioca starch is also gluten-free. The use of these gluten-free products can be a substitute for the use of mainstream flour. Due to this property, it finds application in pharmaceuticals and it is an ingredient commonly used by cooks.

Aside from being gluten-free, tapioca starch is low in calories and free from sugar. It is the purest form of starch available. Tapioca starch adds great moisture to products and can sometimes be used as a thickening agent and binding agent as well.

Tapioca starch works well when used with gluten-free flour and is great for giving pizza and pie crusts more crispness. You can even make cookies, custard, puddings, flatbreads, gluten-free bread, and pancakes with tapioca starch.

The Difference Between Potato Starch and Tapioca Starch

Because of the similarities between potato starch and tapioca starch, many people find it difficult to choose which one to use. Sometimes used interchangeably, there are differences between them both. Below are the differences between potato and tapioca starch:


Potato and tapioca starch may have similar uses, but their sources are different. Potato starch is extracted from the root of the potato plant. The starch is typically separated from cull potatoes, surplus potatoes, and potato processing waste streams.

On the other hand, tapioca starch is extracted from the root of the cassava plant. Cassava root is a popular food staple in many parts of the world.

2.Processing technique

Both potato and tapioca starch are processed similarly. However, the machine used to process them is different because they have different textures. Also, a rotary machine is used to wash potatoes, while a paddle washing machine is used for cassava.

They also use different dehydration machines because their starch granules differ in water content requirement and size. Potato starch is dehydrated using a vacuum filter, while cassava starch is dehydrated using a peeler centrifuge.

3.Toxin content

There was no presence of toxins in potato starch. Nothing will happen if eaten raw because of the absence of toxins.
Tapioca starch cannot be eaten raw because it contains a type of natural toxin. Only when the toxin is exposed to high temperatures can it vanish.


Unlike tapioca starch, potato starch does not contain any natural toxins. As a result, there is no risk of poisoning if eaten raw. Tapioca starch contains a natural toxin known as hydrocyanic acid. For this reason, it cannot be eaten raw.

Tapioca must be cooked before consumed because the toxins only disappear at a temperature above 70 degrees. Tapioca contains little fiber and a lot of starch. However, due to its extremely low sugar and calorie content, it also contains a variety of other nutrients and can be used as a side dish in a well-balanced diet that is rich in carbohydrates.

5. Uses

Potato starch is popularly used in sauces for foods because it is a good thickening agent. Utilizing modified starch can lower the cost of production. In addition, because the sauce’s quality is consistent, it can be kept in storage for a long time without layering, thus preserving its shiny appearance and delicate flavor.
On the other hand, tapioca starch can be used to produce adhesive, paint, resin, fiber plastic film, sauce, vermicelli, shrimp chips, biscuits, bread, beer, glutamate, monosodium, maltose, glucose, fructose, and alcohol, among other chemical products.


Potato starch and tapioca are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same despite their similarities. Although potato starch is utilized in numerous applications, it is prudent to consider its side effects as well as the fact that it is slightly heavier than tapioca starch. You should consider these differences before you choose.