Difference Between Tapioca Starch and Cornstarch

Tapioca Starch vs Cornstarch

There are many different types of thickeners use to thicken recipes like soups, sauces, puddings, pie fillings etc. Tapioca starch and cornstarch are two of the common starches that are used for thickening of food items. Despite used for the same purpose of thickening of food items, there are some basic differences between Tapioca starch and cornstarch that need to be kept in mind when using them for thickening of recipes.

Tapioca Starch

This is a starch made from the root of a plant called cassava or manioc. The root is consumed like potato in many regions of Africa and America. Once the starch cells have been removed from these roots, heat is applied to them so that they start to rupture and change into small masses of unequal sizes. Once baked, these masses turn into starch that requires mixing with water when cooking something. Tapioca starch is known by different names in different parts of the world and used to make various recipes.


The starch that is obtained from the grain of maize or corn is called corn starch. The kernels of maize are used to extract the endosperm that produces the starch that is used as a thickening agent in making syrups, sauces and soups. The kernels are taken off the cob and soaked in water for 30-45 hours that makes it easy to separate the germ from the endosperm. Starch is obtained from this endosperm.

Tapioca Starch vs Cornstarch

• Cornstarch is a grain starch whereas Tapioca starch is a tuber starch.

• Corn starch gelatinizes at a higher temperature than tapioca starch.

• Corn starch has higher quantities of fats and proteins than tapioca starch.

• Sauces made with grain starch such as corn starch look opaque whereas tapioca starch give translucent appearance to the sauces.

• If the recipe requires long cooking time, it is better to make use of cornstarch as tapioca starch does not stand high temperatures for a long time.

  • dana becker

    Thank you.