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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 Silicon Dioxide?

What Is Silicon Dioxide?

Silicon Dioxide: What Is It? What’s It Good For? And Do We Need It?

Ever wondered what that small packet you find in food or supplement bottles is? You know, the one that says, “Do Not Eat” even though it’s found with your food? Well, that’s called a desiccant. Its primary purpose is to absorb excess moisture so fine food particles don’t clump together (the way sugar does).

Its active ingredient? Silicon dioxide, more commonly known as silica, but what is silicon dioxide? Let’s delve into this and other questions.

What is Silicon Dioxide?

Chemically, silicon dioxide is a type of quartz, the fusion of the elements silicon (Si) and oxygen (O). It is one of the more abundant substances on Earth, making up 59 percent of the crust. If you’ve been to the beach before, then you will have seen silica. It’s just that it has a different name there: sand

And even though it’s a “rock,” you’ll be surprised to know that silica is also found in organisms, too. Plants, animals and, yes even us, have trace amounts of it. Chances are you’ve eaten it regularly since everything from vegetables to oats have it.

What Does It Do?

Silicon dioxide is a common substance used in a variety of industrial applications. Everything from ceramics to glass use it in one form or another. In the food industry, silica is most often used as an anti-caking agent. Many foodstuffs, such as sugar and flour, tend to clump together in moist conditions.

Moisture also promotes bacterial growth and can shorten a product’s shelf life. Silicon dioxide prevents this by absorbing excess moisture from the atmosphere. It can be mixed straight into the food or separated into its own container, as is the case with the desiccant pack.

Is Silicon Dioxide Natural or Synthetic?

Since it’s pretty abundant, commercial silica is often derived from natural sources. Natural quartz is obtained from sand mining and then crushed or milled. Further processing may be needed to create purer or finer silica, depending on the end-use.

Is Silicon Dioxide Safe to Consume?

With an artificial sounding name like silicon dioxide, people tend to wonder if it’s safe to eat. The good news is that it is. Health Canada has classified silicon dioxide as food safe. As we mentioned, it is a naturally occurring substance in the body. Besides, any excess silica that we accumulate in the body doesn’t stay there. Instead, it’s flushed out through our kidneys.

It’s also worth knowing that there are many types of silicon dioxide. Rest assured that the kind added into our food isn’t the same one used in making glass, for instance.

Is Silicon Dioxide a Carcinogen?

You might encounter some experts saying that silicon dioxide can cause cancer. While this is true, that only occurs when you breathe in high doses of it. This is the case with certain occupations, such as mining, construction, and sandblasting. When found in food, silica can’t cause lung damage.

Final Thoughts

Silicon dioxide might sound intimidating, but it’s not. It’s a perfectly safe food additive that contributes to food lasting longer and being more reliable to consume.