Tapioca is a tuber and it is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics after rice and maize. Every part of the plant is edible, including the root and leaves. It is a staple food for millions of people in tropical countries. It predominantly provides carbohydrate food value and is low in protein, vitamins and minerals.
It has economic value as it has both edible and non-edible downstream products (Picture above: Tapioca plant being harvested).
EDIBLE PRODUCTS (Picture above: Tapioca balls)
Flatbreads (Casabe) is made from bitter cassava root without leavening. Thin and crisp flatbreads are often broken apart and eaten like crackers. Few drops of liquid can transform dry flatbread into a soft smooth bread.
Tapioca balls are commonly used Asian desserts and sweet drinks, where their chewy texture act as a contrast to the sweetness and smooth texture of the desserts and drinks.
Tapioca Flour is used as an allergy-friendly thickener for sauces, soups, puddings and stews. It is also used for gluten-free baked goods.
Tapioca Syrup is added as a sweetener to many foods and beverages, as an alternative to sucrose or corn syrup.
Tapioca Chips can be served as a bites similar to potato chips, wedges or french fries.
Tapioca Starch is used to make traditional crackers, commonly seen in Indonesia.