Tapioca flour is a gluten-free starch flour. Ideal for use as a binder in sweet and hearty gluten-free food. Manioca flour is the dried, finely ground root of the cassava plant. The difference between tapioca flour and cassava flour. Cassava flour and tapioca are made from cassava root. Tapioca flour is root starch. Cassava flour whole ground root. Tapioca flour provides binding and absorbs moisture in your baking. Therefore, the result is somewhat drier than when using cassava flour. Tapioca grains are natural tapioca starch. This allows you to use tapioca pearls in both sweet and savory dishes for a fun bubble effect.