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Maltodextrin for Dummies!

What is Maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin for Dummies! Maltodextrin is obtained from any starch resource such as corn, potato, wheat, tapioca or rice. It is a white powder that comes from these natural products after undergoing an enzymatic process. Manufacturers carry out an enzymatic conversion known as Hydrolysis to make maltodextrin. It uses water, heat-stable enzymes or acids to disintegrate the starch into simpler sugars. The resultant syrup is than dried resulting in a white powder. The primary characteristic of maltodextrin is that the Dextrose Equivalent of the prospects is less than 20 percent sugar.

Maltodextrin is a relatively tasteless and soluble powder. It is used in various food products to improve their texture and dilute their flavours. It is used as a thickener for bulking up foods like oatmeal, salad dressing etc., but it does not cause the food to clump. It aids in preserving food and improving shelf life. This carbohydrate-based product acts as a filler, a replaceable sugar substitute in low-calorie foods. Maltodextrin has less nutritional value; however, as it is easily digestible, it can give instant energy.

Where is it used?

You might feel like this is the first time you’re hearing of this substance, but it is present in most foods that we consume.

  • Pasta, cooked cereals, and rice products
  • Powdered drinks
  • Meat substitutes
  • Baked goods
  • Salad dressings
  • Frozen meals
  • Ready to use spice blends
  • Soups and sauces
  • Confectionaries
  • Energy and sports drinks
  • Frozen desserts
  • Bakery items

Maltodextrin is also used in the pharmaceutical industry, hair care products, lotions, and livestock feed in many edible products.

Benefits

Here are some benefits of maltodextrin:

  • Maltodextrin is an easily digestible carbohydrate, meaning it breaks down and gives off instant energy. Thus, it is used in sports drinks and is an energy source for athletes. Moreover, maltodextrin only requires less water to break down than any other carb, so there is no risk of dehydration.
  • It has a glycemic index that is higher than sugar. People with chronic hypoglycemia may use this product to boost their blood sugar levels. It is an easy solution to raise constantly falling sugar levels.
  • Studies have shown that as maltodextrin ferments in the intestines, helps the beneficial bacteria in our gut, aids in fighting off abnormal cell growth. Hence, it is also an anti-tumour ingredient.
  • Some studies have shown that maltodextrin aids in boosting digesting by improving stool consistency, colonic transit time and stool volume. Thus, this product also aids in digestion.

 

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved maltodextrin as a safe additive in different industries. It is only present in minimal amounts in the products, so it will not affect the carbohydrate intake. Maltodextrin is an essential ingredient for some food products as it helps texture, flavour and viscosity.

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