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tapioca(tăpēō`kə), widely used starchy food, obtained from the fleshy root of the bitter cassavacassava
, name for many species of the genus Manihot of the family Euphorbiaceae (spurge family). The roots, which resemble sweet potatoes and are eaten in much the same way, yield cassava starch, a staple food in the tropics.
..... Click the link for more information. . Tapioca is sold in flake or flour form and as the pellet pearl tapioca. Tapioca flour is widely used in place of wheat flour in regions where it is grown, e.g., South and Central America, Africa, the West Indies, and parts of India. When cooked it becomes transparent and increases in size. It is used to thicken puddings and soups.
starch granules obtained from the tuberous root of cassava, a tropical plant. The starch of the cassava root is refined, pressed through a sieve, and heated on metal plates at a temperature of 150°C; this causes it to become somewhat glutinous and to agglomerate into granules. Tapioca is easily digested and is used in soups, cereals, and other food preparations. It is produced mainly in tropical countries of Asia, Africa, and South America. World production of cassava in 1972 was 105.4 million tons. Certain varieties of sago, such as the Brazilian sago, are sometimes called tapioca.