Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide derived from starch through enzymatic hydrolysis. It is processed into a white, tasteless powder consisting primarily of glucose units. As an affordable and versatile food additive, maltodextrin is widely used in the food industry to enhance the quality and shelf life of various products.
Maltodextrin serves multiple functions as a thickener, filler, bulking agent, sweetener carrier and flavor encapsulator. It is commonly found in canned fruit, salad dressings, sauces, baked goods, potato chips, jerky, popcorn, meal replacement bars, and bottled beverages. By providing bulk and a smooth texture, maltodextrin improves the mouthfeel and consistency of numerous processed foods and beverages. Additionally, maltodextrin is valued for enabling fat-free or sugar-free products to achieve a rich and creamy quality.
The primary applications of maltodextrin include:
•As a thickening agent to add viscosity and body, especially in low-fat dressings and sauces;
•As a bulking agent to provide volume and facilitate dispersion in powdered mixes, protein supplements and sports drinks;
•As a texture enhancer to create creaminess in puddings, desserts and dairy products;
•As a sweetener carrier to potentiate the sweet taste of high-intensity sweeteners; and
•As a flavor carrier and encapsulator due to its ability to protect sensitive flavors and control their release during consumption.
Maltodextrin is a multi-functional food additive derived from starch. Its properties as a thickener, bulking agent, texture enhancer, sweetener carrier and flavor encapsulator make it ideal for enhancing the quality, stability and sensory experience of processed foods and beverages. Maltodextrin continues to gain popularity as a valuable and versatile ingredient for product formulations in the food industry.