Are Tapioca Starch and Arrowroot the Same?

When it comes to gluten-free thickening agents, tapioca starch and arrowroot are often mentioned, but are they really the same? Let’s explore their differences and unique properties.

Understanding Tapioca Starch and Arrowroot

Tapioca Starch:

  • Source: Derived from the cassava root.
  • Texture: Smooth and glossy.
  • Uses: Thickens sauces, soups, and desserts.
  • Dietary: Gluten-free, grain-free.


  • Source: Extracted from the rhizomes of the arrowroot plant.
  • Texture: Light and powdery.
  • Uses: Ideal for thickening clear sauces, puddings, and jellies.
  • Dietary: Gluten-free, grain-free, easily digestible.

Key Differences


  • Tapioca starch comes from cassava roots.
  • Arrowroot is derived from the arrowroot plant.

Thickening Properties:

  • Tapioca starch provides a glossy finish.
  • Arrowroot yields a more neutral, clear thickening.

Freeze-Thaw Stability:

  • Tapioca starch maintains consistency after freezing.
  • Arrowroot performs well in acidic liquids and doesn’t break down in freezing temperatures.

Cooking Temperature:

  • Tapioca starch thickens at lower temperatures.
  • Arrowroot requires higher temperatures to thicken properly.

Substitution Guidelines

  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch = 1 tablespoon of arrowroot.
  • Suitable for sauces, soups, and desserts.
  • Adjust quantities based on desired texture and consistency.


While tapioca starch and arrowroot are both excellent gluten-free thickeners, they have distinct properties. Tapioca starch is best for glossy finishes, while arrowroot excels in clear, neutral thickening. Understanding these differences will help you choose the right starch for your culinary needs.

For more detailed information on tapioca starch and arrowroot, visit and explore our range of high-quality starch products.

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