What can I substitute for potato starch?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for potato starch?” with an in-depth analysis of some possible substitutes for potato starch along with their benefits and disadvantages.

What can I substitute for potato starch?

Potato starch can be best substituted with chipotle chilli powder, corn starch, arrowroot powder, tapioca starch (cassava) and potato flour. 

Cassava is cultivated for its root starch, which is used mainly as food (48%) and feed (34%), but also as feedstock (18%) for biofuels and biochemicals. The production of cassava roots has kept growing in the last 10 years and reached about 230 Tg y1 (wet mass) in 2009–2010. As many as one billion low-income people live on it in many developing countries in tropical Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Global cassava production uses about 19 million hectares of land, including unproductive and low precipitation areas (1).

What is potato starch?

Potato starch originates from potatoes. During the extraction of potato starch, potatoes are crushed due to which starch grains are released which are known as leucoplasts. These are then washed and dried to make potato starch. The taste of potato starch is very mild and is almost unnoticed. 

Potato starch is a very pure starch, containing minimal protein or fat. This gives the powder a clear white color, and the cooked starch typical characteristics of neutral taste, good clarity, high binding strength, long texture and a minimal tendency to foaming or yellowing of the solution (2).

Substitutes of potato starch

Multiple substitutes of potato starch are available that include:

Corn starch: 

Corn starch is very similar to potato starch in the sense that it also does not have a taste or colour. It is a thickening agent whose basic purpose is to be added to dishes. Corn starch is purely made from corn and it is also gluten-free.

The main advantage of using corn starch is that it is used to improve the texture of sauces, soups and desserts. Corn starch also contains crabs.

One of the main disadvantages of corn starch is that it does not have an appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals which are very essential for our growth. Corn starch has little quantity of fibre which is an important nutrient that aids in the slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. The high insulin responses to dextrose and glucose polymers can lead to acutely elevated postprandial insulin secretion, lipogenesis, reactive hypoglycemia, and to elevated blood lipid levels and increased risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease (3).

Arrowroot Powder: 

The origin of arrowroot powder is the arrowroot plant. As arrowroot powder is colourless so it can be used in any recipe. The shelf life of arrowroot powder is three to four years and it is also gluten-free.

Arrowroot powder is well known for its digestive properties and it enhances weight loss. Arrowroot is also known as a powerhouse of vitamin B. Due to the nutrients, it contains, it is very healthy for the functioning of the heart. It also improves blood circulation. Arrowroot  tuber  has  a  glycemic  index  of  32  which  makes  it  a  very  useful  natural  substitute  to treat diabetes (4).

. According to studies, arrowroot powder starch is good for babies because it is allergen free and can soothe digestion. It also showed that arrowroot supports healthy digestion because it is rich in starch that acts as a mild laxative in regulating bowel movement and digestion. It improves circulation hence preventing heart conditions such as congestive heart failure. It is vitamin B9 rich and iron rich which is technically good for pregnant women to consume to promote good health of the baby in the womb and reduce chances of fetal malformations and abnormalities. One study published in 2000, found that arrowroot powder was effective for significant reduction of abdominal pain in subjects and improved their digestive problems (4).

Tapioca Starch: 

Tapioca starch is a famous gluten-free flour. It is made from the starch of cassava root. It is very helpful to enhance the texture of gluten-free baked goods. For some recipes, it can be used as a thickening agent.

The major benefits of tapioca starch are that they contain no salt or fat which are very healthy to lose weight. The sodium content of tapioca starch is also low. By consuming tapioca (not the tapioca starch), an appropriate amount of calcium can be obtained which is very beneficial for teeth development. Compared with other cereal grains, cassava is low in protein and the protein it has is of poor quality with very low essential amino acid contents. As a result, cassava-based diets must be supplied with protein sources that provide an adequate supply of methionine and lysine (6).

Tapioca starch, besides having these benefits also causes some disadvantages like it has a high amount of carbohydrate in it which is not good for health. People who have diabetes problems must not consume tapioca starch or use it in a small amount.  Starch is more digestible, digestion is more rapid and high GI. Several prospective observational studies have shown that the chronic consumption of a diet with a high glycemic load (GI x dietary carbohydrate content) is independently associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers (5).

Potato flour: 

Although potato flour is a little bit different from potato starch, it can still be used as a substitute for potato starch. Potato flour is utilized as a thickener for smoother sauces, gravies and soups. It can also be used in gluten-free cooking.

Potato flour is very good to boost immunity. As it contains a high proportion of vitamin B6 so it is very beneficial to promote brain health. It is also good for blood circulation and the nervous system (7,8).

One of the main disadvantages of consuming potato flour is that it triggers bloating which causes a very uncomfortable situation. Some poisonous chemicals present in potato flour can lead to vomiting, nausea, stomach pain and thirst. These are toxic glycoalkaloids (two major examples are α-chaconine and α-solanine), which serve to protect the tuber from pathogens, insects, parasites, and predators but can lead to gastrointestinal disorders in humans (8).

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can you eat moldy potatoes?

Is sweet potato bad for you?

How to store potatoes in the fridge?


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What can I substitute for potato starch?” with an in-depth analysis of some possible substitutes for potato starch along with their benefits and disadvantages.


  1. Zhu, Wanbin, et al. Cassava stems: a new resource to increase food and fuel production. Gcb Bioen, 2015, 7, 72-83.
  2. Sawicka, B., and PD ANDGUPTA. Importance Of Dietary Fiber And Starch In The Prevention Of Selected Civilization Diseases: A Review. J Cell Tissue Res, 2018, 18.
  3. Zhou, Xiaohan, and Murray L. Kaplan. Soluble amylose cornstarch is more digestible than soluble amylopectin potato starch in rats. J nutr, 1997, 127, 1349-1356.
  4. Francis, Twinkle, and AK Anjali Jayalakshmi Somasundaram. Use of Arrowroot in dentistry-A review. Annal Roman Soc Cell Biol, 2021, 6275-6287.
  5. Foster-Powell, Kaye, Susanna HA Holt, and Janette C. Brand-Miller. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. Am j clin nutr, 2002, 76, 5-56.  
  6. Morgan, Natalie K., and Mingan Choct. Cassava: Nutrient composition and nutritive value in poultry diets. Anim Nutr, 2016, 2, 253-261.
  7. Malouf, Reem, and John Grimley Evans. Vitamin B6 for cognition. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2003, 4.
  8. Górska-Warsewicz, Hanna, et al. Vegetables, potatoes and their products as sources of energy and nutrients to the average diet in poland. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2021, 18, 3217.