Vietnam’s tapioca processing industry

In the vibrant landscape of Vietnam, tapioca starch processing factories play a pivotal role in the nation’s economy. These factories, diverse in scale and technology, are categorized into household-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale enterprises based on their production capacity and technological advancements.

1. Household-Scale Tapioca Production: Tradition Meets Limitations

Location and Capacity:
Situated predominantly in eight provinces, household-scale tapioca processing units are essential contributors. Khoa (1998) conducted observations in Binh Chieu Village (Ho Chi Minh City), Binh Minh and Tan Binh Villages (Tay Ninh Province), and Tra Co Village (Dong Nai Province). These units typically process 4-5 tons of fresh roots daily, resulting in 1.0-1.4 tons of wet starch.

Production Process:
Manual peeling is a cornerstone in these units, with wastewater disposal directly into city sewage systems. Despite their traditional methods, challenges arise due to the inability to compete with larger companies investing in wastewater treatment.

Challenges and Decline:
The number of households engaged in tapioca starch production has dwindled over the years, primarily due to fierce competition with larger enterprises. The inability to invest in wastewater treatment systems has been a significant hurdle.

2. Medium-Scale Tapioca Production: Bridging Tradition and Automation

Evolution in Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh Provinces:
Medium-scale tapioca processing, as described by Khoa (1998), unfolds in two distinct types: one for wet starch production and the other for dry starch production. These units strike a balance between traditional methods and automation, resulting in enhanced efficiency and reduced by-product generation.

Advancements and Trade-offs:
While offering higher production efficiency, these medium-scale processes demand increased energy consumption and capital investment compared to household-scale units.

3. Large-Scale Tapioca Production: Modern Marvels of Efficiency

Key Players and Objectives:
Large-scale tapioca companies, such as Tay Ninh Tapioca Co., Ltd., Tan Chau Tapioca Co., Ltd., KMC Tapioca Co., Ltd., Phuoc Long Tapioca Co., Ltd., and VEDAN Vietnam Company, have been pivotal since 1990. Their primary aim is to supply raw materials for various industries.

State-of-the-Art Processes:
Large-scale production processes employ modern technologies, utilizing a three-stage extraction process to derive high-quality starch from cassava roots. This method, albeit more efficient, requires substantial investment and energy consumption.

Wastewater Management:
Unlike smaller counterparts, large-scale factories adopt advanced wastewater treatment processes, employing methods such as UASB and pond systems. This meticulous approach ensures responsible wastewater disposal, separating inorganic and organic suspended solids.

Conclusion: Balancing Tradition and Technology

Vietnam’s tapioca starch production paints a nuanced picture, where traditional methods coexist with technological advancements. From household units rooted in manual processes to large-scale enterprises embracing state-of-the-art techniques, each segment contributes uniquely to the nation’s tapioca industry. As Vietnam continues to evolve, finding a harmonious balance between tradition and technology remains crucial for sustained growth in tapioca starch production.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *