Popping Boba vs. Tapioca Boba

What is the difference between tapioca boba and popping boba?

September 06, 2022

Popping Boba vs. Tapioca Boba

Popping Boba is one of the fastest growing trends and one of Pecan Deluxe’s most requested products, however it is still often confused with tapioca boba. While Pecan Deluxe does not produce tapioca boba, we strive to educate consumers about the unique formulations and distinct characteristics of the two. 

Tapioca Boba

Tapioca boba is a small sphere formed by cooking tapioca starch (derived from cassava root) with added color and flavor. They are usually dark brown or black in color and chewy in texture with a flavor profile similar to licorice. While fruit flavored tapioca pearls have come into the market, they differ from popping boba, maintaining a chewy texture and tapioca flavor. Tapioca bobas (or pearls) are commonly found in bubble teas and more recently in ice cream novelties.

Tapioca Boba


Popping Boba

Popping boba (often called bursting bubbles or popping pearls) are also spherical in shape but provide an entirely different experience and mouthfeel. These bursting bobas are created by a chemical reaction known as spherification. They contain liquid (most commonly a fruit juice) encapsulated in a gel-like shell or skin made of sodium alginate and calcium salt.  Popping boba are used in applications such as frozen yogurts and beverages, though more recently found in unique food applications such as tacos, acai bowls, salads and desserts. These little balls of fun provide a tiny explosion of flavor to elevate your snacking or dining experiences.

Pecan Deluxe was the first fully operational manufacturer of popping boba in the United States, providing popping boba in bulk to restaurant chains and consumer packaged goods companies. Visit our popping boba page to learn more about the variety of flavors available!


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