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.