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Tapioca Dextrin
any one of a number of carbohydrates having the same general formula as starch but a smaller and less complex molecule. They are polysaccharides and are produced as intermediate products in the hydrolysis of starch by heat, by acids, and by enzymes. Their nature and their chemical behavior depend to a great extent on the kind of starch from which they are derived. For example, some react with iodine to give a reddish-brown color, others a blue, and still others yield no color at all. For commerical use dextrin is prepared by heating dry starch or starch treated with acids to produce a colorless or yellowish, tasteless, odorless powder which, when mixed with water, forms a strongly adhesive paste. It is used widely in adhesives, e.g., for postage stamps, envelopes, and wallpapers, and for sizing paper and textiles. A starchy substance extracted from the root of the CASSAVA plant. It's available in several forms including granules, flakes, pellets (called pearl tapioca) and flour or starch. The most widely available forms are tapioca flour (also called cassava flour) and pearl tapioca. The flour is used as a thickening agent for soups, fruit fillings, glazes, etc., much like CORNSTARCH. Pearl tapioca is used mainly to make pudding and comes in several sizes, regular or instant forms and in a variety of prepackaged flavors. Pearl tapioca is available in most supermarkets, whereas the other forms are more commonly found in health-food stores and Asian markets. If stored in a cool, dark place, all types of tapioca will keep indefinitely.