Do tapioca pearls expire?

In this article, we answer the following questions: Do tapioca pearls expire? Does tapioca flour expire? Are tapioca pearls healthy and can one use them after they expire? We explain the benefits of tapioca pearls and why they are so unique.

Do tapioca pearls expire?

Tapioca pearls can and do expire, usually after 9 or 12 months after their production date, depending on the manufacturer. If you have opened a package of tapioca pearls but only used part of it, it is best to put the rest into a plastic bag and make sure to seal it well, and they should last for a fairly long time. Cooked tapioca pearls should be kept in the refrigerator for a maximum of 48 hours. 

Tapioca pearls are small balls that, like the tapioca that we traditionally know, are white and hard, but with a spherical shape, and when cooked they become transparent and gelatinous. 

This tapioca format has been the most popular in Asian cuisine, and in the West, it is widely used in creative cuisine, because it provides a different texture, because it absorbs flavors and, among other things, due to its attractiveness, pearls from Japan are a tasty dish.

Tapioca is a very old food that is once again having a presence in many dishes, we are not talking about home cooking (surely in many homes it is consumed regularly), but about professional cooking, we find dishes with tapioca from the hands of many cooks, particularly in one of its formats, tapioca pearls, also known as pearls from Japan.

Tapioca pearls can adapt their color depending on what it is cooked with, so it can often be reminiscent of salmon roe or spheric false caviar, saving in preparation time and money, since tapioca is cheaper. You already know that tapioca is the starch of yucca, also known as cassava for cassava, the root of a tropical plant of the Euphorbiaceae family (Manihot esculenta).

Unlike tapioca in small granules that we can find in any supermarket, tapioca pearls or pearls from Japan are still not very easy to find, with online commerce it is easier, they have specialized stores and those dedicated to the sale of Sector of the restoration.

How long does boba last? 

The shelf life of boba or tapioca pearls primarily depends on whether they are cooked or uncooked. For uncooked boba, it is better to leave them in the packing that they came in. Simple refrigeration is not recommended when it comes to storing bobas. Place them in a simple syrup and then refrigerate. Bobas stored this way can last for 72 hours.

How long do tapioca pearls last?

An unopened packet/bag of tapioca pearls can last from 6 months to 1 year in the pantry. Remember that you should always store the tapioca pearls in a cool dry place in the pantry. Avoid storage in the refrigerator as it is not recommended.

Does tapioca powder Expire?

Tapioca powder (flour) can last quite a long time. All starches and flours usually will have a long shelf life, about 6 to 12 months, if kept in a dark and cool place, such as your pantry. In any case, you can always check the tapioca powder before using it. Does it still smell good? Does it look odd? Your senses are the best in determining whether the tapioca powder is still good to use. 

Can you still use tapioca pearls to pass the expiration date?

You can still eat tapioca pearls after they expire and most likely nothing bad will happen. However, in time, the pearls will become less absorbent and lose their nutritional value. 

Are tapioca pearls healthy?

As a starch, tapioca is more appreciated than corn or wheat because its flavor is more neutral, so it goes without saying that it has no limitations when combining with different ingredients, both sweet and savory, these will be the ones that add flavor to some balls with a gelatinous and melting texture.

Another positive value of this food is its nutrient content, mainly carbohydrates, it is energetic but contains hardly any fat, it is rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, and vitamins, highlighting those of the group B. It also does not contain gluten, so it is appropriate for the diet of people with celiac disease. However, there have been alerts about the finding of traces of gluten in some brands of tapioca, so you will always have to check what you buy.

Although as we mentioned, tapioca pearls or Asian pearls are often used as a complement to a dish, their use is just as versatile as tapioca semolina, it is a thickener and can be consumed in soups, creams, puddings, cakes, drinks … There is a very popular one known as Bubble Tea. It is a Taiwanese drink that can be made with different types of teas, fruit, milk, syrup … and incorporates some tapioca pearls. 

Does Bubble tea expire?

Bubble tea is best consumed fresh, and it can expire or go bad in just a few days. 

Bubble tea is a mixture of tea with fruit juice, milk, or yogurt, whose main hallmark is flavored tapioca balls (also known as tapioca pearls), which are submerged in the bottom of the drink. These balls are flavored with different jellies, sugars, or sweeteners and give the mixture a very particular flavor.

After 24 hours, the tapioca pearls in a bubble tea acquire a hard center and this may potentially cause digestive issues. This is why it’s best to consume it as soon as possible and prepare only enough tea to drink in a few hours.

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following questions: Do tapioca pearls expire? Does tapioca flour expire? Are tapioca pearls healthy and can one use them after they expire? We explained the benefits of tapioca pearls and why they are so unique.

The expiration date of tapioca pearls is usually written on the package, Although it is safe to use them for a longer period of time, tapioca pearls do expire and we do not encourage consuming them out of date, as they can cause digestive issues.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

Other FAQs about Tapioca Pearls that you may be interested in.

What can I substitute for quick-cooking tapioca?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.