The Differences Between Tapioca Starch And Corn Starch

Tapioca starch vs corn starch have been received concerns from many consumers regarding theirs differences and if they can be used interchangeably. In fact, while often used interchangeably, these starches possess unique characteristics that can significantly impact the outcome of consumers' final products. Join us to explore the differences between tapioca starch and corn starch, from their orgins to applications, and to see why tapioca starch is going to be a more ideal solution.


Definition of Tapioca starch vs Corn starch


Starch represents a biodegradable natural macromolecule with notable attributes such as affordability, environmental friendliness, and abundant sources. Its versatility extends across various industries including food, textiles, papermaking, and adhesives, where it finds extensive applications.

Diagram of Starch Applications. Source: Journal of Renewable Materials


Tapioca starch 

Tapioca starch is a fine white starch product extracted 100% from the roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca starch is also known as Cassava Starch.

In food Industry, cassava starch are widely used in different dry products such as rice paper, tapioca flour, vermicelli, rice noodles, noodle soups, banh canh (Vietnamese udon-like soup), sago pearls, fatty flour, instant noodles, alcohol, seasoning powder, and seasoning granules.

In non-food industries, manioc starch is used as a filler or surface coating for certain types of paper and cardboard in paper industry. In addition, construction industry also uses this starch in production gypsum ceiling tiles, it enhances bonding for clay, limestone, and acts as an additive for paint.

Tapioca starch is a fine white starch product extracted 100% from fresh cassava roots


Corn Starch

Corn starch is a very light yellow starch which is extracted 100% from the core of corn - corncob. The process of refining corn starch involves soaking, grinding, separating, filtering, and drying the corncob.

In food industry, corn starch serves various purposes including cooking, seasoning gourmet dishes, brewing beer, enhancing meat products, and acting as additives for dairy products, like cheese, butter,… for salad dressing, and a variety of soft candies.

In non-food industry like paper making, corn starch is commonly utilized as an adhesive due to its structural similarity to paper. This characteristic strengthens natural paper fibers, resulting in increased durability and excellent printing capabilities.

Corn starch is fine powder which is extracted 100% from the core of corn - corncob


Comparison between Tapioca starch vs Corn Starch

Similarities of Tapioca starch vs Corn Starch

In general, both starches are in powder form, with a mild odor and bland taste. Both can form a gel-like structure (gelatinization when water used), but tapioca starch has a higher gelatinization strength compared to corn starch.

 Tapioca starch has a higher gelatinization strength compared to corn starch.


Differences between Tapioca starch vs Corn Starch

StarchTapioca StarchCorn Starch
Origin100% fresh cassava roots100% Corn core
AppearanceFine white powderLight yellow powder

Tapioca starch is difficult to gelatinize in water at normal or low temperatures. 

At high temperatures or in an alkaline environment, tapioca starch undergoes gelatinization and forms a highly sticky, viscous, and elastic adhesive substance. 

It slows down the starch retrogradation. 

Corn starch gelatinizes at a higher temperature than tapioca starch.

 Sauces made from cereal starches such as corn starch appear cloudy, while tapioca starch produces transparent appearance for sauces. 

Corn starch has higher fat and protein content.


Why should you choose tapioca starch over corn starch?

Regarding starch characteristics, tapioca starch has a higher ability to create viscosity and adhesion than corn starch. Corn starch does not bind in acidic solutions such as lemon, vinegar, apple juice, or orange juice. Meanwhile, tapioca starch and modified tapioca starches perform well in acidic solutions. 

Native Tapioca Starch Kraft bag
Kraft paper of Native Tapioca Starch by Viego Global

Among the commonly used natural starches with mainly commercial value, tapioca starch surpasses corn starch (in starch content and characteristics) while being much cheaper (with equivalent biological and chemical properties). 

With these advantages in both characteritics and cost-effectiveness, there is no doubt why tapioca starch demand increases significantly worldwide.

Loading of tapioca starch at Hochiminh port. Source: Viego Global


B Sky - Be Your Tapioca Starch Solutions

Based on the core values of transparency, trust and results-orientation, Viego Global aim to meet customers' needs from bulk service to OEM service, establishing long-term partnerships and effective modified tapioca starchtrade cooperation. Viego Global offers international customers with quality Native and Modified Tapioca Starch.

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