If many people keep asking: “what is boba made out of”, there are two possible scenarios. The first one is people love it and expect to make it at home. Another reason, however, is quite the opposite: people doubt its nutritional value and benefit. Since boba has both conditions, the wisest way is to learn as much information as possible.
What Is Boba Made Out Of?
Despite of its popularity, some of you might have not known the main ingredients of boba yet. It is cassava starch, sweet potato and brown sugar. The result would be black colored boba. The white boba also takes cassava starch as the main ingredients, but mixed with caramel and chamomile root.
Is It Similar To Konnyaku?
Even though both are commonly found inside a sweet drink, fortunately cassava starch and konnyaku is not similar. Konnyaku is made from Japanese yam, which has high fiber and no calories and spread in China and Japan only. While cassava, what is boba made out of, is the starchy type of yam, which grows mostly in Thailand.
How Does It Taste?
Looking at what is boba made out of, you probably expect it to be sweet and chewy. In fact, original boba has no taste and only acts as the decoration for the ice tea. Recently, people start making new invention to the recipe by adding sweetened milk or soaking the boba in a jar of syrup. This is how the boba gets its sweet flavor.
Where Is Its Origin?
As you referring to cassava as the answer to “what is boba made out of?” question, you might have guessed that the country of origin is somewhere in Asia. To be exact, the location is in Taiwan. In 1980s, an employee in a shop accidentally dropped her sweetened tapioca pudding -fen yuan- into her ice tea. Since then, the unique habit to add tapioca ball, jelly or pudding into a glass of ice tea spread all over the world.
Why Is It Called Boba?
The answer is because of the visual. Tapioca balls or boba is almost as big as a marble, thus it will appear like a bubble when you enjoy it through the extra large straw. Instead of labeling this product with cassava for it is what is boba made out of, the manufacturer gives “bubble” label for marketing purposes. Boba gets different names in some countries: bubble tea, pearl shake, or tapioca drink.
What About Its Nutritional Value?
Good question. People are often blinded by the nutritional value of the whole package of boba ice tea. If you are pointing out at the green or black tea which often paired with boba, you will have a long list of benefits. However, if you take out the composition one by one, it reveals a terrifying truth.
For a single serving of boba tea, the shop assistant usually pour in three quarter cup of tea, two tablespoon of sugar, additional half cup of milk, and a quarter cup of tapioca balls or boba. In total, you will deliver 230 calories to your digestive system.
Not only high in calories, you might be surprised to find out that it also stocks 79 gram of carbohydrates and only four grams of protein and four grams of fat. A research also found that the sugar inside boba is the “simple” chain, which means it will be directly digested and enter your blood circulation. This should not be surprising, considering what is boba made out of.
Is It Unhealthy?
In short, yes, indeed. The American Heart Association suggests maximum six teaspoons of sugar per day for women and nine teaspoons for men. In a single serving of pearl shake, you will get two tablespoon or six teaspoons of sugar at once. Not to mention, another additional topping such as fruits, flavored powder, or ice cream.
Those who are on diet are recommended to stay away from this treat. Its addictive sweetness will add up approximately 400 calories to the body, which might ruin your whole day of food resisting. Its shape also might choke children under four years old when sucking the bubbles from the straw.
How To Make It Healthier?
Considering what is boba made out of, chewiness is the best asset it could offer. You could create the healthier version of this tasty treat. Using the recipe, you will stay away from the guilty pleasure and get a healthy body instead. Instead of using sweetened milk, you could pour in coconut milk.
If you are a sweet tooth, then grin a pack of brown sugar instead of the white one. Put a tablespoon of it in the glass. Then, mix low fat milk and the coconut milk. At last, add a quarter cup of bubbles. There you will cut half amount of sugar compared to the normal portion, and add more nutritional values to your occasional drink.
Is There Any Controversial Finding?
The most recent finding was published by the University Hospital in Germany. The researcher, Aachen, claimed that he found traces of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) such as brominated, styrene, and acetophenone compound. These substance are generally known as potential carcinogens, which may change the cells and affect human and animals’ health.
The mentioned compounds had been banned from United States since 1979, but people still use it as plasticizers for rubber, plastics and the other industrial needs. However, there is no further information about where the sample had been taken from. The only clue is “one of the Taiwan company”.
In respond to this finding, FDA and another group of researcher from Berkeley conducted their own test to the pearl. In 2013, Berkeley University denies the finding from German University about the existence of cancer-causing PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). The FDA is second to this statement. The representative even adds that the flavoring substances are still within the allowed limit.
Having a cup of refreshing boba tea in the middle of blazing sun is heaven. A short escape from healthy lifestyle would be great, but don’t take it too far. The chewy boba inside the cup turns out to be a tricky snack with minimum nutritional value. From health point of view, “what is boba made out of” also worries health department from several countries. It is time for you to decide.