What is Maltodextrin
You must’ve seen this ingredient sitting in the ingredient list at the back of any processed food packaging. So, what is maltodextrin? How is it made? Where is it usually put to use? Let’s decode all of these questions in this article and get to know maltodextrin better!
Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide commonly used as a food additive and flavor enhancer. The production of this ingredient is carried out by producing vegetable starch through partial hydrolysis( Hydrolysis is the process of converting complex sugar structures into simpler ones). Maltodextrin is characterized by a white powdery substance produced from rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch. This powder is spray dried and is hygroscopic (tends to absorb moisture from air) in nature.
How is it manufactured
Now that we know what is maltodextrin, let’s see its production process. The starch is converted to enzyme or acid process. The product obtained is a refined white powder with moisture content less than 3-5 wt%. The enzyme usually used is alpha amylase. In the process, the starch slurry is converted to a given Dextrose Equivalent (DE). This slurry is then treated with the appropriate enzyme to complete the conversion. The hydrolysate is neutralized to pH of 4-5.5 by addition of soda ash. It is then clarified by centrifugation or filtration, carbon- treated to remove color and acid degradation products, and concentrated by vacuum evaporator. It is then spray dried to a specific moisture content. The product obtained is maltodextrin and is checked for quality & packed and stored to be sold.
Is all Maltodextrin same
No, not all maltodextrin is created the same. To understand the difference, let’s quickly understand what dextrose equivalent(DE) value is. DE value is the indicator of degree of starch hydrolysis into glucose syrup. In simple words, it tells about what percentage of total solids have been converted to reducing sugars. That means; higher the DE, higher the sugar and lesser the dextrin. They are produced at 20 DE or less.
So, on the basis of lesser and more DE value, maltodextrins are often considered desirable or undesirable by manufacturers. This choice is made on the basis of varying degrees of sweetness in higher and lower DE values.
Applications in the food and beverage industry
The wide use in food industries is because of its easy digestibility, rapid absorption and varying degrees of sweetness and flavor. It is found as an ingredient in many processed foods.
Maltodextrin is very popularly used as a bulking agent in food and beverage industries. Bulking agent increases the volume of a food product without affecting its organoleptic properties, a trait that is much appreciated by manufacturers worldwide.
Texture and mouthfeel are some of the important attributes of any food product that influences consumer acceptability. Using it in the formulation also enhances these properties. In addition, it also functions as a flavor carrier. It is easily digested and converted to energy making it an ideal ingredient for sports drinks. Similar to other carbohydrates, it decreases glycogen breakdown during workouts. When it is combined with protein, they can enhance glycogen recovery and stimulate muscle protein synthesis after workouts. The powdered form makes it even more useful since it is easily digested, hence it is used in large quantities in making sports drinks.
Maltodextrin is a shelf stable product that improves flavor, texture, mouthfeel and adds bulk to the products it is added to. Maltodextrin is also useful in functional foods and nutraceuticals, an emerging field gaining mass popularity. Bulking agent maltodextrin is big in the food industry. If used correctly in food products that do not require high sweetness intensity, it can make up quite a successful alternative for sugar.
Availability and supply becomes a very important factor while considering an ingredient in a food formulation. If you are someone who’s looking to buy maltodextrin at convenience, you’ve come to the right platform. EasyBuy provides a one step solution to all the sourcing issues that manufacturers generally face with food ingredients. Buy today with EasyBuy for best deals and effortless procurement.