What Is Non-GMO Maltodextrin Made of?
You will see a lot of ingredients you do not know if you read nutrition labels. These ingredients may not be recognizable to you, but they are to dieticians and nutritionists. Maltodextrin is one ingredient you will find in many foods. It is an ingredient commonly used in processed foods. You should know about the non-GMO maltodextrin from wheat to know if it is good for you.
What Is Non-GMO Maltodextrin?
Maltodextrin is a white, starchy powder used in foods by manufacturers to improve shelf life, thickness, and flavor. By treating purified, non-GMO corn or tapioca starch with enzymes, maltodextrin is produced.
Non-GMO maltodextrin means that it is produced without genetic engineering. It functions well as a bulking agent or carrier in different confectionery, food, and supplement applications because of its slight sweetness and clean, natural taste.
Maltodextrin is also an ingredient commonly used in the production of packaged foods like candies, drinks, candies, and pastries. It usually features on the label of the food where it is present. Athletes can also use maltodextrin as a carbohydrate supplement.
How Is Non-GMO Maltodextrin Produced?
Non-GMO maltodextrin is a white powder produced from wheat. It can also be made from other plants like potato starch, rice, and corn. Non-GMO maltodextrin from wheat is highly processed even though it is made from plants. Its production process involves cooking the starches and adding enzymes or acids to them.
One of the enzymes used in the process to break it down further is heat-stable bacterial alpha-amylase. The white powder that forms as a result of the processing has a neutral taste and is water-soluble. Maltodextrin is quite similar to corn syrup solids, just that their sugar content is different.
Both go through hydrolysis, a chemical reaction where water is added to aid in further breakdown. However, the sugar content of maltodextrin is less than 20% while that of corn syrup solids is at least 20%.
Is Non-GMO Maltodextrin from Wheat Safe?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), maltodextrin is a safe additive that can be added to foods. Additionally, maltodextrin is counted as part of the total carbohydrates in the nutritional value of food.
If your doctor has prescribed a low-carbohydrate diet for you or if you have diabetes, insulin resistance, or both, you should include any maltodextrin you consume in the total amount of carbohydrates for the day. Nevertheless, the amount of maltodextrin in food is small. Its effect on your carbohydrate intake will not be significant.
Furthermore, the glycemic index (GI) of maltodextrin is high. This means that it can cause your blood sugar level to spike. As a result, you must only consume it in small amounts, and diabetic patients should be mindful of the amount they consume. Everyone, including those with diabetes, benefits from diets rich in low GI foods.
The Reason Why Maltodextrin Is in Your Food
The reason why maltodextrin is used in processed foods is as a filler or thickener to increase the volume. It also functions as a preservative, extending the shelf life of the packaged foods to which it is added. It is easy and inexpensive to produce, making it useful for thickening products like salad dressings, sauces, gelatins, and instant puddings.
Maltodextrin can also be mixed with artificial sweeteners to make products like powdered drinks, desserts, and canned fruits sweeter. It is also used as a thickener in some personal care products, such as hair care products and lotions.
Alternatives to Non-GMO Maltodextrin from Wheat
You may wish to consider alternative foods if you are concerned about consuming maltodextrin. Some foods provide other healthy nutrients as well. Consuming them will help you prevent a spike in your blood glucose.
Examples of other food additives that can be used to stabilize or thicken foods include pectin and guar-binding gum. Pectic is a carbohydrate that is extracted from seeds, vegetables, and fruits. Manufacturers of packaged food may also use arrowroot starch and tapioca starch as thickeners.
There are also flavoring options for maltodextrin that can be found on product labels. These include sweeteners like stevia and sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and erythritol. Compared to maltodextrin, sugar alcohols have fewer calories and less of an effect on blood sugar levels.
However, they may cause flatulence and bloating in some people. Stevia contains no calories and has little impact on blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, you will still find products that include a mix of stevia and either dextrose or maltodextrin. Blood sugar levels may be affected by this blend.
Applications of Non-GMO Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is commonly used in health products, dairy products, cereals, candies, frozen foods, beverages, and many more. It also finds application in pharmaceutical and chemical production. Due to its low-calorie content, it is an excellent sugar alternative in beverages and drinks like coffee, tea, and protein shakes.
Maltodextrin is popularly used as a food additive in the field of food preservation. There are various specifications of non-GMO maltodextrin to meet your needs, which may include puffed foods, fixatives, and thickeners. In more specific terms, non-GMO maltodextrin is used for the following:
Improvement in food viscosity: non-GMO maltodextrin produces very little browning effect because of the low presence of reducing sugars. It can also make different food ingredients more soluble, have a clear emulsification effect, increase the viscosity of the prepared food, and improve both its flavor and appearance.
Reduce food sweetness: There are products where a reduction in sweetness is desired. Maltodextrin is added to such products as a bulking agent to reduce their sweetness.
Alternative fat: Maltodextrins having a low DE can be utilized as a fat substitute in the production of baked goods, sausages, ice cream, and other foods with high fat content.
People make use of maltodextrin as a carbohydrate supplement to boost performance and energy levels. It is considered safe for consumption by the majority of people. except for those with diabetes. For such people, pectin is an alternative food additive they can use. A diet high in processed foods and additives can be harmful to one’s health, so you need to be conscious of the amount you consume.