Young woman is holding, drinking brown sugar flavored tapioca pearl bubble milk tea with glass straw in night market of Taiwan

Tapioca pearls can be found in desserts like pudding, bubble tea and kolak. Despite their popularity, many people don't know their origin or what they contain. Though generally considered safe, whether or not you get sick from ingesting tapioca pearls can depend on a number of things.


Tapioca pearls come in different sizes from small to medium to large. In general, the smaller pearls are used in puddings, while the larger ones are used for drinks and shakes. If ingested too quickly or without notice, the pearls, especially the larger ones, can get stuck in your throat, causing discomfort or worse.


Tapioca pearls are made with tapioca flour. If you're allergic to the flour, talk to your physician about whether you can ingest the pearls.


As with any food product, the amount you ingest affects how you feel. Knowing your limit will reduce the chances tapioca balls will make you sick.