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Maltodextrin and syrup solids are mixtures of glucose polymers that are a product of controlled hydrolysis of starch sources. Hydrolysis is a chemical, enzymatic process to break down starch. They are closely related; however, they are differentiated using the Dextrose Equivalent DE.
DE measures the power of reducing sugar compared to the dextrose standard of 100. The higher DE suggests a greater extent of starch hydrolysis, which means a smaller average polymer size.
Spray-dried maltodextrin is derived from the enzymatic conversion of different starch sources. It has a DE of 5 to 19; it is easily soluble; has no flavor and has relatively lower sweetness than other sugar substitutes. It also has no hygroscopicity, reduced browning, and lower cost. Maltodextrin is an ideal bulking and viscosity agent. Maltodextrin is used in bakeries, beverages, confectioneries, pharmaceutical products, and foods such as soups, salads, etc. Its features are a light white color, mild flavor, uniform coating, and enhanced crispness.
The enzymatic conversion of starch also obtains syrup solids. There are different solids such as corn, rice, tapioca, etc. These solids have a DE of range 20 to higher. They provide moisture retention and control crystallization. They give them the same fundamental characteristics: browning, hygroscopicity, and sweetness. They are used in bakeries, beverages, confectionaries, salads, dairy dressings, snacks and cereals, and meat. With the variance of DE both Maltodextrin and Syrup Solids offer different functionalities.
The FDA defines maltodextrins as products having a Dextrose equivalent of less than 20. They are generally claimed as safe (GRAS) food ingredients. Maltodextrins are significant solids builders for standard and low-fat products. They are an effective spray-drying aid for flavors, fruit juices, and other hard-to-dry products. They also are easily digestible carbohydrates for beverages such as sports drinks. The FDA defines syrup solids as dried glucose syrup with a DE of 20 or higher. They are also considered a GRAS ingredient. Syrup solids have a mild sweetness and lower viscosity. They are used in meat and dairy products as bulking agents to build up solids, as a nutrition source in infant formulas, and as a drying aid for spray-dried fats.