Could Tapioca Compete With The Dominancy Of Corn And Potato Starch?

August 20th 2018

Could tapioca rival ‘pervasive dominance’ of corn and potato starch?

Global demand for products made with tapioca starch is set to rise, supported by increased interest in products that deliver health benefits and are free from gluten and other allergens.

According to market research firm fact.MR, the tapioca starch market is currently valued at US$4.5bn and the market is projected to grow at CAGR of 6.1% over the forecast period, from 2018 to 2028. The functional qualities of tapioca starch combined with health benefits and rising demographic demand are propelling market growth.

The factors that favor the growth of global tapioca market in terms of demand generation include the high percentage of carbohydrates and prevention of food allergies. As well as being free from allergens like nuts, tapioca starch is also gluten-free, making it ideal for food makers producing products that appeal to the growing body of consumers who suffer from celiac disease. Tapioca helps to reduce cholesterol level and maintains the blood sugar level. It also helps to prevent constipation. Tapioca is a rich source of calcium, manganese, folate, and iron which makes it useful for the pregnant women also. Tapioca helps metabolize carbohydrates. Thus the increasing awareness of health benefits of tapioca fuels the growth of global tapioca market in the forecast period.

End users continue to prefer tapioca flour and tapioca pearls over other forms of this cassava extract. Moving forward, demand for tapioca pellets will “flourish”, outgrowing all forms of tapioca starch, fact.MR suggested. The functional properties of the ingredient across various product categories also continues to support growth. Applications include use as a thickening or stabilising agent for the preparation of soups, pies, puddings, breads, sauces, soy, and meat products. Manufacturing of instant noodles, vermicelli, sago, chocolates, biscuits, and ice cream can also utilise tapioca starch.

While it is said that corn and potato starch “represent a pervasive dominance” in the worldwide starch industry, it is believed that the door is opening to starch alternatives, such as tapioca. In particular, because both potato and corn starch have some significant
downsides, including undesired cereal flavor, cloudy appearances, and lower tendency to gel. A slew of excellent traits of tapioca starch, including resistance to longer cooking times, persistent quality during food reheating and freezing processes, and complete dissolution with high viscosity and clarity retention property, have considerably boosted their adoption in the food industry. This has significantly driven growth of the tapioca extract market.

The tapioca starch market will exceed revenues worth US$8.5bn by the end of 2028, the researchers forecast.

Tapioca in Europe.

Tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava root. It is native to the northeast region of Brazil but its use spread throughout South America. The plant was transported by the Portuguese and Spanish to most of the West Indies and Africa and Asia.
The liberalisation of international trade arrangements will contribute to the development of the European market, alongside growing demand for gluten-free products. But the tapioca starch market in Europe continues to remain impacted by Free Trade Agreements with third-world countries. Starch Europe, the trade association that represents businesses related to starch industry, at both Europe and international level, has joined hands with Vietnam FTA to leverage latent opportunities in Vietnam’s emerging market to foster EU’s services, industrial, and agricultural exports.
This, coupled with the occupancy of an established marketplace for gluten-free food and beverages, will underpin the expansion of Europe’s tapioca starch market.


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