Tapioca (kappa) is the root of a shrub-like plant called Cassava native to Brazil. It is most commonly used as starch and food thickener. In India is used very often used in Kerala.

Almost 90% of tapioca is carbohydrates and has traces of vitamins and minerals. It is gluten and protein free. It has also traces of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Thus it has little nutritional value. If you eat this with fish curry or with grates of coconut this only brings the nutritional value.

Tapioca is used to thicken puddings, jellies and soups. It is used as a binder in tablets by the pharmaceutical industries. It is a thickener in natural paints also. In many South American and African countries different desserts are made with tapioca.

Tapioca can contain a cyanide based toxin. It should not be eaten exclusively and in large amount for a long time. It is very rich in carbohydrates and can raise the blood sugar level dramatically in persons with diabetes.