Can you die from Tapioca?



Bubble tea has enjoyed immense popularity. In recent years, bubble tea shops are popping up in different parts of the world particularly in malls, on street corners basically anywhere thirsty kids, teenagers and even adults tend to love Bubble as well as teenagers. This unique and sweet-tasting drink is recognizable to most of us because of the Tapioca balls found at the bottom of the cup that contains the beverage. But, tapioca is literally harmful to us, sometimes even  death. 

  1. Tapioca
  2. Varieties of Tapioca dishes
  3. Misconception of Tapioca
  4. Health consciousness
  5. Tapioca and its toxic properties


Tapioca balls come from tapioca, a starch extracted from the cassava root which is used as a thickening agent in a variety of foods. Cassava is a root and nut variety plant that native is to Southern America. And it is also a major food staple in developing countries. It contains nearly twice the calories of potatoes making it a large source of energy only by its carbs and sugar contents. But while it has a lot of calories it completely lacks any nutrients. And even worse, cassava can poison us if we eat it raw. Due to its levels of cyanide, the tapioca starch has to be detoxified before it can be consumed. If we intake raw Tapioca, the toxicity in cassava can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, paralysis, and even death. 

Varieties of tapioca dishes:

It can be cooked in many varieties of dishes like puddings, salad, pickles, and even as the main dishes in many regions.

  • Bubble tea is known from all around the world. Those bubbles inside the bubble tea are made of it which is also called tapioca pearls. And it gives a sugary and jelly taste to the beverage. 
  • In many countries like Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and some of the eastern countries Tapioca’s are served as salads and sometimes used as vegetables for gravy and vegetable Curry. 
  • One of the most famous dishes of Tapioca is pudding. This is specially made in Taiwan. This is a sweetened and delicious dessert among the local Taiwanese. 

Misconceptions about Tapioca balls:

The word bubble in bubble tea doesn’t refer to the tapioca pearls. Most people assume that the name bubble tea refers to the round bubble-like tapioca pearls found at the bottom of the Bubble Tea. But, the Bubble in bubble tea actually refers to the bubble foam on top of the cup. These oxygen pockets are formed as a result of preparing the bubble tea by shaking the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

Health consciousness:

It is not healthy to consume. In most of the Tapioca dishes, except Tapioca other ingredients are consumable and good for health also. But the raw material of the processed food that is Tapioca isn’t exactly low calories or fat-free, and thus we must avoid those specific dishes. For example, Bubble tea. Bubble tea has many nutritional ingredients like milk, honey, and fruits. Still, it contains tapioca and a large amount of sugar. Thus, it is full of empty calories, because Tapioca starch merely contained Carbohydrates that contain no nutritional benefits depending on the milk used is also can be fattening, and the other ingredients like, sugar, syrup in this drink can take 300 to 400 calories and higher than 50 grams of Carbs. This states that Tapioca drinks contain higher calories than other regular dishes that we intake regularly like bread, wafers, and other junks. 

Taking Tapioca puddings, dishes and beverages increases the risk of obesity. According to the 2006 study, Tapioca holds higher amounts of sugar and fat. Since they can potentially lead to childhood obesity. Drinking fluids is different from eating real foods. So, we drink more than we eat food. On the other hand, Tapioca beverages are delicious. So we drink more and intake more Carbohydrates and sugar in large quantities which lead to several health issues. This study also suggests that nutritional education should also give special attention to sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, especially about the ingredients. And health sectors also advise us to omit Tapioca products or to intake a minimum amount once in a while which can reduce its toxic impacts. 

Tapioca and its toxic properties:

Tapioca consumption is tied to ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It has been warned that attention should be paid to Tapioca dishes not just because of excess sugar consumption but also because of this potential association with mental health problems. Especially for school kids. There is evidence that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages like milk tea is adversely associated with childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder moderate consumption of it’s dishes and beverages are not likely to increase the risk of ADHD but like any other sugary treat, it is something you may not prefer to your children as an everyday dessert. 

There are claims that bubble tea can be toxic. German researchers have reportedly rounded the traces of carcinogenic chemicals in tapioca ball samples such as styrene, acetophenone, and brominated substances that should not be in foods at all. These chemicals have been shown to cause cancer in a variety of adverse effects on our immune reproductive nervous and endocrine systems. But, in defense of the beverage, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration confirmed that the second round of tests conducted by German authorities detected no cancer-causing chemicals in bubble tea; thus, it is our responsibility to choose what we should Trust. 


It is indeed a great dessert and food variety that we should avoid for our health concerns particularly we must ignore them daily. It is not like you must stop drinking them. Most of the products and foods that we are taking nowadays are most probably unhealthy. We can minimize the quantity that we intake or  We can customize ingredients and the number of our foods. And customization is available in most of the shops all around the world. Well, if you are a huge fan of Tapioca dishes and beverages. it is prescribed to take a minimum amount of them and definitely should not consume every single day.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is tapioca a potato? 

Yes, there are different species of potato varieties. Most of the potato varieties are not healthy especially if you want to lose weight and to be fit. And it has also had no benefits when it comes to nutrients. Thus, It is the last potato that you ever have to eat. 

  • Does it have any nutritional values?

It has no cholesterol or fat levels. But at the same time, it has no nutritional values like protein, fiber, or vitamins. So, it is considered just a potato without any nutritional value. 

  • Can I take it every day?

No, Tapioca contains no healthy nutrients. It has carbohydrates and has a lot of calories when it comes to diet. So, rather than taking it, you can have some fruits or vegetables every day. Taking tapioca every day can cause you several health problems like heart disease, nausea, and several health issues. 

  • If cooking it in heat can ever less its harm?

It might be cooked. But we can’t guarantee that it should not contain harmful substances. Remember, it has no nutritional values which imply no good thing and no bad thing. So, rather than choosing something that has neither good nor bad qualities. We can have something rich in nutrients. 

Can you die from Tapioca?

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