How Is Sabudana Made? Complete Manufacturing Process Revealed

Ayan Banerjee
Mar 01, 2024 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Oct 30, 2021
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Heap of tapioca pearls close-up in a bowl
?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.5 Min

In the Indian subcontinent, sabudana is made by moist starch, which is passed via a sieve under pressure.

The sabudana pearl possesses extraordinary properties granting to its feel and glossy, unwrinkled texture. Sabudana is a clarified organic starch and is free of gluten.

People from all around the world enjoy eating sabudana as it is inexpensive, and good for health, providing quick energy and making you feel full for a long time. People are sometimes allergic to gluten or suffer from celiac disease, so for them, sabudana would be a good option to place in their daily diet. Sabudana causes weight gain and should be avoided or consumed in small amounts by people who are diet conscious or are planning to lose weight. Tapioca starch can be consumed as a snack, desserts like falooda, soup, kolak cakes, drinks like fruit slush, bubble tea, and many more. In drinks, mostly large granules are preferred. Tapioca is a suitable starting material for modifying into a range of specialty products due to its low residual and amylose content, as well as the high molecular weight of its amylose. The use of tapioca starch in special items is becoming increasingly popular. The process of additives on temperature transitions, storage stability chemical, and physical qualities of tapioca-based products can be significant. In India, sabudana is an energy-dense food that has gained popularity as a gluten-free flour replacement. According to preliminary research, those with prediabetes who consume bread with 0.2 oz (6 g) of tapioca starch have a lower blood pressure than those who eat ordinary bread.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also learn about how is rose gold made? Or how is sea glass made? Here on Kidadl!

What is sabudana?

Sago sabudana is a fundamental Indian food eaten widely in many forms. Apart from the fact that it contains a high level of starch, it also ensures a large number of health benefits. Sabudana or tapioca is a wholesome and staple food and can be used in many ways apart from cooking it for food.

Sabudana, commonly known as tapioca pearls or sago in English, are tiny, insipid, and pellucid white balls of tapioca. It is the starch extracted from the roots of the cassava plants. Sago extracted from the cassava plant root is the most popular one. Further, there are two more types, cycad sago, and palm sago, respectively. Tapioca pearls are a popular beauty component because they contain moisturizing properties, tannin, and antioxidants. Also, sabudana is made to treat dandruff, acne, and dark spots on the skin. Eating sabudana has a variety of health benefits. Before ironing shirts and clothes, sabudana is often used to starch them. It is supplied in bottles of natural gum that dissolves in water or spray cans. As a feasible alternative to plastic, tapioca root can be utilized to make biodegradable bags. It is also used in the treatment of fiber in the sizing process where the fibers are tightly bound so that they can run smoothly on metals. The material is renewable, recyclable, and reusable. It helps to reduce blood sugar levels and improve digestion. It is beneficial in the treatment of anemia and helpful to those with low blood hemoglobin levels. The health benefits of sabudana are innumerable.

History Of Sabudana

Sabudana was first consumed by Indians in the late 1800s. Sabudana was discovered around 1170 in China. Zhao Rukuo, a scholar of the Song dynasty, was the first to mention it. Thailand and Malaysia, in Southeast Asia, use sabudana frequently. The tapioca pearls, also known as sago sabudana, are produced in enormous quantities in Indonesia.

Sago pearls have a long history of use as a grain. During religious occasions, it's served in a variety of cuisines, including sweet and sour khichdi, vada, and even as a sweet kheer to breakfast. Sabudana khichdi is quite common in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, among other Indian states. During Hindu religious festivals like Navratri and Shivratri, it is a popular choice for women. In the USA, it is consumed in the form of sweet milk pudding. In New Zealand, it is eaten as lemon sago pudding. India, is not only a producer of sabudana but is also one of the biggest consumers of it. It is mostly produced across the southern regions of India like Tamil Nadu, Kerala. In Kerala, tapioca is known as kappa and in Malayalam, it is called maracheeni. In Srilanka, sabudana is known as mangnokka, where people prefer eating it in boiled form along with a salsa mixture of chili and onion. This salsa mixture is known as lunu miris sambol. Sabudana is a common staple food in West Africa's diet. Nigerians, eat tapioca with fish that has been cooked until it is smooth. This meal is called feshelu and is one of the most popular dishes in Ijebu, Nigeria. People in eastern Nigeria cook it differently, using palm oil with roasted cassava and other seasonings. Sabudana is a popular ingredient in a wide range of dishes, some of which go by distinctive names in other countries.

Tapioca in basket on wooden background

How is sabudana made?

In India, people generally prefer the cassava plant for the production of sabudana. The manufacturing of sabudana is a long process that starts at the harvesting stage and ends with packaging.

Tapioca is an excellent starting material for a wide range of specialized products. Tapioca starch applications in special products have become increasingly popular. Dried starch is a good source of shelf-stable food. While uncooked, dried tapioca pearls have a two-year shelf life, freshly cooked pearls can last for up to 10 days in the refrigerator when stored properly. This discrepancy can be attributed to the fact that wet and dried products have quite different water properties, with the former providing a far better environment for microorganisms to thrive in. The physical and chemical properties along with the quality, storage, and stability of tapioca-based products can become affected by additives. Sulfur dioxide is used in all water streaming processes to keep microbial development under control.

At first, the cassava plant roots are harvested. The cassava roots can be picked at any time between 6-9 months after planting. The roots must be carefully separated so that they are not destroyed. The harvested cassava roots are gathered from various farms in large quantities and transferred to the factory within 24 hours to prevent the establishment of microflora. The roots are then cleaned, rinsed, and peeled on massive conveyor belt machinery. A white milky liquid is obtained after the roots have been crushed under pressure. This milk-like liquid is the extracted starch. After that, the liquid is passed through several filters to remove all impurities followed by storing it for 6-8 hours. It is then drained out leaving the solid product, which will be used in other processes. The solid component is then transferred to the sifting section, where the actual sabudana granules or pearls are created and further processed. These pearls are then transferred for streaming or cooking where they gain some water, but if there is a surplus, it is eliminated by jet refiners. Tapioca pearls are then either chemically or naturally dried. After the tapioca or sago pearl is ready, and the starch is commercially processed into a variety of shapes and sizes, including pre-cooked, fine or coarse flakes, hot soluble powder, rectangular sticks, meal, and spherical pearls. It is preferable to soak the flakes and sticks before cooking so that they absorb water and become rehydrated and heavier in weight. The most commonly accessible shape is pearls, with diameters ranging from 0.04-0.31 in (1-8 mm), with 0.08-0.12 in (2–3 mm) being the most prevalent. The processed sago is then polished to give it a gleaming white appearance. Sago pearls are polished and put in jute bags before being sold to consumers by stores, retailers, and distributors. The starch taken from the root of cassava, palm, or cycad trees is used to make and process sabudana. Against common myth, it is not made with worms and it does not come from maida or wheat flour.

What are the nutritional facts about sabudana?

The controversy related to sabudana is that whether it is good for losing weight or suitable for weight gain. Sabudana is very rich in calories and is considered a very healthy food source. Many different dishes of sabudana can be prepared, which posses different nutritional values. People tend to eat sabudana or tapioca pearl for energy.

It is found that in 0.22 lb (100 g) of sabudana 1.469e+6 J (351 kcal) are present. Other macronutrients content include 0.01 oz (0.2 g) of protein, 3.07 oz (87.1 g) of lipids and carbohydrates, it also contains a fiber content of 0.3 oz (0.9 g). Low fiber content makes it one of the lightest-weight snack options. When it comes to eating sabudana khichdi, then 0.22 lb (100 g) of it contains just 736,384 J (176 kcal). It has a rich lipid content and is low in carbohydrates. For sabudana vada, it involves frying, so it is rich in fat but has less protein and carbohydrates, 0.22 lb (100 g) of it contains 966,504 J (231 kcal). Sabudana possesses numerous health benefits. Keeping sabudana as a part of your daily diet will help in lowering body heat. It perpetuates a healthy blood flow and blood pressure in the body because of its high potassium content. Because it is high in carbohydrates, it provides the body with immediate energy. Pregnant women should include sabudana in their daily diet since it is rich in vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help the baby grow. Also, the sago plant is beneficial for the skin and can help reduce wrinkles. Despite its innumerable benefits, sago can be harmful. People should not consume or eat sabudana in its unprocessed state, which can lead to liver damage, vomiting, and even death. Also, sago is not a good source of protein. Diabetic people should avoid sabudana.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how is sabudana made? Then why not take a look athow is Quorn made or how is root beer made?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

Read full bio >