What is maltodextrine?
Maltodextrine is a bulking agent in the form of cornstarch that has been partially broken down for easy digestibility.
Since maltodextrines are often used in the commercial baking process, you will see maltodextrine listed in products such as cakes, cookies, frostings, fruit leathers, granola bars, dry mixes, infant formulas, dairy products, frozen desserts, coffee whiteners, ice creams, low-fat margarine, peanut butter, salad dressings and nutritional beverages. Maltodextrines are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) food ingredients.
"In the U.S., maltodextrine is produced from cornstarch and can be safely eaten by those with celiac disease [an intolerance to a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley], but in other countries maltodextrine can be made from wheat, so consuming imported foods is not advised," says Dr. Buford Nichols, a physician who studies starch metabolism at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Maltodextrine does make the overall finished food product more easily digestible and is a convenient source of energy (approximately 4 calories per gram). However, it does pay to consider why fillers such as bulking agents are used in processed foods. In moderation, additives can enhance recipes and the overall appeal of commercially prepared foods. Yet, often these additives disguise low-cost, low-nutrient fillers, which are added to bulk out foods. Manufacturers who use bulking agents like maltodextrine dramatically lower their costs of food production and in the process can also lower your foods nutritional value.
The smart solution is to eat less processed foods and concentrate on eating more whole foods in your diet!