The modern food industry has accustomed the buyer to pay attention not only to the shelf life of the product, but also to the composition. Often, among the ingredients, one can see the name maltodextrin. Let’s find out what it is and whether we should be afraid of it.
What it is
Maltodextrin or simply molasses is a fast carbohydrate and consists of glucose and dextrin. It is a powder, the color can vary from white to light creamy, the taste is sweet, perfectly soluble in both hot and cold water. It is produced by breaking down starch, most often potato or corn starch, less often wheat or rice starch.
By and large, maltodextrin is a food additive or dietary supplement. It is used in the food industry and pharmaceuticals, in cosmetology it helps to create the necessary texture of the cream and increases the elasticity of the skin.
Important! This component helps to restore strength and gives energy to the body, easily converted into glucose.
Why is it used in food industry?
Maltodextrin is a component of many foods ranging from infant formula to sports nutrition, considered a flavoring agent. Most of all it is used in the confectionery industry, but its presence can be seen in sausages and meat delicacies, bakery products, beverages, spices and sauces, it contains all instant products.
Interesting! Another application of maltodextrin is spraying fruits during transportation, it helps maintain the appearance and repel insects.
So why is it so popular and what effect does it have on food? So, it helps:
- Thicken, emulsify and improve the consistency of foods;
- Helps convenience foods dissolve faster;
- Keeps the product from changing color when exposed to oxygen and oxidation;
- Helps loosen dough mixes;
- Keeps its shape, for example, in jelly products;
- Helps improve the absorption of nutrients and stimulates beneficial intestinal microflora.
- It is now clear that maltodextrin plays a very important role in today’s food industry, while helping with human digestion. However, its benefits are unproven, as well as its harms.
Benefits and harms of this substance
To date, it is known that maltodextrin is not recommended for diabetics and obese people. If there is an allergy to gluten, maltodextrin obtained from wheat can cause a reaction of the body. And the main benefit is considered to be the high energy value of this carbohydrate. The useful functions that this molasses has are called:
- Helps reduce cholesterol levels;
- It is actively broken down and fully absorbed by the body;
- Has a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
Production of maltodextrin is very cheap, and therefore the manufacturers of dietary supplements actively use it as one of the components, it extends the shelf life of the product, gives a sweet taste, helps to achieve the desired consistency and does not form lumps.
Important: Officially maltodextrin is approved for use and considered safe.
In what products maltodextrin can be found
Due to the fact that maltodextrin is used in the confectionery industry confectionery products look bright and hold their shape, cookies have a crumbly structure, athletes are able to quickly restore strength after training and get a boost before the competition. The main uses of maltodextrin in products:
- It is added to children’s and sports nutrition, thanks to it micronutrients are absorbed faster;
- For confectioners it helps to improve taste;
- For candy products: Stands the color and shape;
- Ice cream helps ice cream keep longer;
- In sausages can act as a fat substitute and source of animal fats;
- In seasonings and sauces, it adds flavor and lowers sugar content;
- In fast food acts as a solvent and crystallizes preservatives in the form of powders; Will help break down convenience foods;
- Used as a sprayer when transporting and storing fruit;
- Increases the shelf life of products in which it is incorporated.
Without maltodextrin, foods wouldn’t keep as long, and baked goods would quickly become hard, color and flavor of sweets would be lost, and quick-soluble products wouldn’t be as convenient to use.
Glycemic Index of Maltodextrin
The glycemic index of maltodextrin ranges from 105 to 136. This difference is due to the use of different manufacturing processes. Sugar rises in the blood quickly and sharply, quite high, in the same way as when simple white sugar is taken. Accordingly, the harm is the same, especially if one is overweight. But athletes, especially bodybuilders, prepare protein protein shakes with the addition of maltodextrin, in this case it helps dissolve the powder quickly, gives energy and tastes good. Muscles gain mass faster and the energy value of the diet increases.
Maltodextrin in baby food and infant formula
The content of maltodextrin in baby food is absolutely safe for children, except for a child’s allergy to gluten. Close in composition to molasses, it is an organic substance. This component gives mixtures the necessary thickness, is better absorbed by the body and does not cause allergies.
Interesting! Due to the sweet taste of maltodextrin you can not add sugar or reduce its amount.
By breaking down in the child’s body, maltodextrin becomes glucose, which provides the baby with energy and activity. In addition, if the component is of high quality, it is not broken down by gastric juice, which puts it on a par with dietary fiber, which helps to improve bowel motility, relieves constipation