What is it Wednesday: Maltodextrin

Wow I’m so late putting this post up today.  But better late than never right?  I’m heading into two busy weeks at work, so there may be a few days in the next two weeks when I don’t post at all, or I may be putting up really short posts with some pictures.

Anyway this week the topic of What is it Wednesday is Maltodextrin.  I’ve found that maltodextrin is a fairly common ingredient in packaged food.  It’s even in my antacids.  So what is it exactly?

Maltodextrin is a chain of glucose molecules that’s made from starch.  It can be made from rice, corn, wheat or potato starch.  Like those starches, maltodextrin is considered a carbohydrate.  It can be sweet but supposedly contains fewer calories than sugar.

Since it can be sweet, it seems that maltodextrin is often added to foods as a sweetener.  I feel like I’ve seen it in cereal before.  Wisegeek says it’s also found in instant pudding and gelatin mixes.

It’s definitely a processed food additive, however it is derived from natural sources.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest rates Maltodextrin as safe.

What do you think?  I tend to trust the CSPI’s opinon.  If it’s just boiled down starch then it seems pretty natural (though processed).  At least it’s not an artificial sweetner! 

Wisegeek on Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin Wikipedia
CSPI on Maltodextrin on Maltodextrin


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