Tapioca syrup is a syrup made from the cassava tuber, or yucca root, a plant that is indigenous to the tropics of South America. The syrup is made when natural enzymes are introduced to the cassava tuber. This process is known as enzymatic hydrolysis. After enzymatic hydrolysis is complete, a sweet syrup is formed. The syrup is considered to be a healthy sweetener.
Typically, tapioca syrup is a light golden color, and it contains a neutral flavor. The neutral flavor makes it an ideal candidate as a food additive. The flavor is not beany, and the texture is not grainy like some other syrups. It can be added to soy and dairy products.
There are many uses for tapioca syrup. It is used as an alternative sweetener in place of corn syrup, honey, sugar or maple syrup. Typically, the syrup is gluten-free and is not genetically modified. Many people use it as a healthy alternative to other sugars.
Some people enjoy cooking with tapioca syrup. It can be used in baking instead of corn syrup or applesauce. Tapioca pearls that form from the cassava tuber are often used in pies and other desserts. Some people use it as a binding agent. For example, it can be used to prevent meats from drying out after they have been processed.
Drinks can benefit from tapioca syrup. Instead of honey, this syrup can be used in smoothies and other drinks to provide texture. Cookies, candies and pies can be made with this syrup instead of sugar or other alternative sweeteners. It is important not to over-bake items made with this syrup because the starch content is very high, and the product might become too sticky or starchy.
Homemade flavored syrups can be made with this syrup. The neutral flavor can be easily masked by other flavors. When combined with other flavors, tapioca syrup can be placed on the table in place of maple syrup. It can be enjoyed on pancakes, waffles or toast.
Commercial uses of this syrup include acting as sweeteners in snack and health food bars, fruit drinks and cereals. The health benefits of the syrup are because the glucose in the syrup is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. The complex carbohydrates in the syrup can take two to three hours to digest. This long digestion period provides a steady flow of energy for the person who consumes it.