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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Potato Starch is an Acceptable Substitute for Tapioca Flour in a Gluten-Free Yellow Cake

by Stephanie Collier, Kimberly Green, Kindra Johnson

Stephanie Collier, Kimberly Green, Kindra Johnson

A gluten-free yellow cake made with white rice flour and tapioca flour was tested against a cake with half tapioca flour and half potato starch and a cake with all potato starch. These variations were used to determine if potato starch is an acceptable substitute for tapioca flour in a gluten-free yellow cake. There were a total of 60 Central Washington University students used as judges in this study.  There were five sensory tests used, a triangle test, an overall preference test, a preference for texture test, a flavor intensity test, and a moisture intensity test. 

The objective tests that were run include a viscosity test, a caliper measurement, and a TA.XT2 texture analysis.  After the data was collected it was statistically analyzed into a calculated mean, standard deviation, and a Fischer's Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) table.  This table was used to calculate Tukey's LSD and show if there was a significant difference (p<0.05) between the control and the tested variations.  The triangle test indicated that there is no significant difference (p>0.05) between the variations and the control. The TA.XT2 texture analyzer found that the potato starch creates a denser, tackier cake than the tapioca flour control. When analyzing height, based on caliper measurements, the data suggests that the potato starch makes a shorter cake than tapioca flour. 

Based on the data, potato starch is an acceptable substitute for tapioca flour.  The objective testing found that the potato starch creates a shorter, denser, tackier cake than tapioca flour. Although the objective data does shows that there is a significant difference (p<0.05) between the potato starch variation and the control variation, the sensory data indicates that the judges did not find a significant difference (p>0.05) in taste.

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