Article about food safety from around the world and in our own back yard.

What is Maltodextrin

What Is Maltodextrin?

As a Food Additive, Why Do We Use It What Does Maltodextrin Do?

There are a lot of ingredients that go into our foods. In this post, we’ll look at one of the most common. We’ll answer the question, “What is maltodextrin?”.  This substance is an innocuous-looking white powder.

It’s used extensively in the food industry to:

  • Thicken sauces
  • Improve the flavour or texture of food
  • Prolong the shelf-life of foods
  • Substitute for sugar

Find out more about the use of this substance in the food industry here.

Is maltodextrin a natural ingredient?

The first thing that people ask after asking, “What is maltodextrin?” is, “Is it a natural product?” Technically, it’s naturally based. Manufacturers extract it from starchy foods such as potato, corn, and wheat. It is highly processed, though.

Is maltodextrin a sugar?

It consists of several different sugars. It’s complicated, though. The downside is that the body can convert it to glucose much faster than regular table sugar. That said, they only add small amounts to food.

If you ate a tablespoon of it, it could cause a spike in your blood sugar. There’s not nearly that much in your average food product, though. Just keep in mind that it all adds up – if you’re only eating starchy, processed foods, you’re getting a lot more of this substance than you should.

On the bright side, it is better for you than corn syrup.

Is maltodextrin the same as MSG?

No, it’s not the same thing. In some people, the body breaks it down in a similar way, though. As a result, those sensitive to MSG may have a similar reaction to high levels of this substance.

It’s also worth mentioning that those with Celiac Disease should check the source of this carb. When the source is potatoes, for example, it shouldn’t cause a reaction. If it’s extracted from wheat, though, it will contain gluten.

Does maltodextrin give you energy?

Companies use it in relatively large quantities in sports drinks and energy drinks. They bill it as a constant source of energy for athletes. It can provide fuel for your muscles and help you get a better workout.

It’ll also give you a quick boost in energy straight away. So, it can be useful for athletes. But here we want to stress the word “athletes.” That is people who are training hard. Unless you’re exercising for an hour at a time, there’s usually no physical need for this much energy.

What is the difference between dextrose and maltodextrin?

Dextrose is composed of one sugar, while maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. In other words, the latter is a more complex form of sugar. If you’re looking for a quick boost of energy during your workout, dextrose is converted to glucose faster in the body.

What’s the Final Verdict?

We don’t advise mainlining any sugar. This one is relatively harmless in small quantities. The quantities that you get from food won’t make a noticeable difference to your sugar. If your diet is otherwise healthy, it shouldn’t do you any harm to have it occasionally.

What is HACCP Compliance?

What is HACCP Compliance?

What We Take for Granted is A Matter of Critical Control

In this post, we’ll answer the question, “What is HACCP?” We’ll also look at why complying is essential, who it’s important to, and what the main points to consider are.

What is HACCP certified?

First, what is HACCP? HACCP, which stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point is a set of international standards that define effective food safety control. The certification requires you to undergo an audit by an independent, authorized body.

The system centres on seven critical areas. These are:

  • The identification of potential hazards.
  • Determining control points that make sense.
  • Determining what the control parameters are. For example, how long you have to heat a particular food to destroy bacteria.
  • Creating a system that allows effective monitoring of the control points.
  • Working out what to do to counteract adverse effects and changes that should be made to minimize hazards.
  • Set up a verification procedure to confirm that your HACCP strategy is effective.
  • Put stringent record-keeping measures into place.

Why is HACCP important?

These audits help you to identify and neutralize hazards to food safety. It works on a system of control limits. Each limit links up to a critical point of the production process. By operating with a few different waypoints in this manner, it becomes easier to identify areas of risk.

For consumers, this process is crucial because it improves the safety of food.

For business, there are several reasons to undergo these audits. These include:

  • In some cases, it’s a condition of trade. Without certification, food businesses may not be allowed to operate here.
  • It may also be mandatory for businesses to have this system in place.
  • Many businesses comply irrespective of regulatory requirements. It makes sense to ensure that their product is as safe as possible.

Who uses the HACCP?

Businesses in the foodservice or food manufacturing industry will use this set of standards. The idea behind putting these principles in place is to deal with potential hazards in a timely manner, which can save the business a significant amount of money.

The alternative is end-product testing. End-product testing is effective at detecting issues. Unfortunately, at that stage, the only option is to discard the entire batch. If a contaminated product goes to the market, it raises significant liability issues.

Read more about why food testing is so vital for businesses here.

What are the most common critical control points?

A critical control point is any stage where a hazard can be eliminated, reduced to safe levels, or prevented. Examples could be during cooking, while food is cooling, or when you package it.

A hazard analysis usually consists of three parts:

  • Chemical risks: Is there a risk posed by any of the additives that you use in the products? What if two different chemicals used to preserve food neutralize each other? What if additives combine to create dangerous chemical compounds?
  • Physical risks: Are there elements of the process that could pose a physical danger to consumers. For example, could chicken bones pose a choking hazard?
  • Biological risks: What are the chances of bacteria growing while the food is cooling, for example.

Final Notes

HACCP compliance is not just important for consumers. It can also help businesses to improve their safety protocols. Another answer to the question, “What is HACCP?” could be that it’s a vital business tool.