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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - Pesach Tapioca
Submitted by meir  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh

According to the dictionary Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root of the cassava plant. Therefore it should be permitted even for Ashkenazim and not be considered kitniyos. However it would certainly require a reliable Pesach hashgacha.

posted:2010-03-11 01:07:22

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Visitor Comments: 2

Rabbi Peretz Moncharsh, 2013-03-22 08:16:47
I would observe that anyone who has the Minhag to permit baking cakes etc. from potato starch, which I believe includes the vast majority of Klal Yisroel, would have no reason to be more stringent regarding Tapioca.
Velvel Butterfield, 2013-03-22 07:19:02
While tapioca is the start of a potato like root, one of the definitions of kitniyos prohibits the consumptions of anything that can be ground into a start and baked to produce chometz like food. The GRA, z'tzl, proves that this is not a minhag, but rather a gezeirah in the talmud Pesachim where it mentions cakes that one could not eat on Pesach even though they did not contain any chometz. Because potato starch falls into this category, the Chayei Odom, z'tzl, sought to ban potatoes as kitniyos on Pesach. Fortunately for Ashkenazim, this ban did not take root (no pun intended) since potatoes where the mainstay of Jewish communities in western and eastern Europe, however, as Rav Blumenkrantz, z'tzl, notes, one should not use potato starch and potato glucose on pesach in a kitniyos like manner. Please consult the Rav of you community on whether tapioca fits ths definition and should be treated as kitniyos or not. In either case, it would require special Pesach certification becuase, today, almost any product is produced in a facility that handles chometz grains and other kitniyos.
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