Both potato and tapioca starches are gluten-free and can be used interchangeably in gluten-free cooking and baking. They are great for thickening soups, pie fillings, puddings, and other delicious things! You can also use either or both of them to bake beautiful loaves of gluten-free bread.
Source. Tapioca starch is derived from cassava root (Manihot esculenta) that is found in tropical areas in South America. These cassava roots are processed, ground, and dried in order to create tapioca starch. Potato starch, on the other hand, is sourced from potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) that are washed, ground, dried, and then separated into the starch and the pulp.
Thickening ability. Tapioca starch is better if you want to thicken pie filling, sauces, pudding, or soups. Tapioca can handle high temperatures and a large variety of pH levels, unlike potato starch which tends to be less effective in high temperatures or more acidic foods.
Price. Potato starch tends to be cheaper than tapioca starch which makes it a great option for baking gluten-free products. While both ingredients add softness to gluten-free bread, tapioca tends to add more chewiness to the texture, unlike potato starch. So, try both and see which one you like better!
Glycemic index (GI) rating. Potato starch has a higher GI which makes it less suitable for people with diabetes while tapioca starch has lower levels of GI which allows you to control your blood sugar levels better.
Nutritional value. While both starches are similar in their nutritional build-up containing no fat or cholesterol, tapioca starch tends to have twice as much protein as potato starch. So, if you are looking to add protein to your diet, use tapioca starch!
Are They Gluten-Free?
Yes, both tapioca and potato starches are gluten-free and can be used in gluten-free baking and cooking!
Can I Substitute One for Another in Recipes?
Yes, you can substitute one for another in recipes. Just keep in mind, that potato starch is a bit heavier than tapioca starch. So, if you are substituting one for another in a baking recipe, I recommend that you use a digital kitchen scale to avoid adding too much or too little. Altering the starch amount in a recipe can impact the end result, so it is better to use precise measurements!
Are Potato Starch and Potato Flour the Same?
No, potato starch and potato flour are not the same and they cannot be used interchangeably!
Are Tapioca Starch and Tapioca Flour the Same?
Yes! Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing, so if a recipe calls for tapioca flour, feel free to use tapioca starch and vice versa.
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Are you wondering if cornflour is gluten-free? Check out my post on it to get your question answered in full! I also unpack the gluten-free properties of chickpea flour, coconut flour, and buckwheat flour in my articles! As you are choosing your flours, make sure to also know if your icing sugar is gluten-free and if the condensed milk you bought is gluten-free as well.