Maltodextrin

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Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin.png
Identifiers
CAS number 9050-36-6 YesY
PubChem 62698
UNII 7CVR7L4A2D YesY
Properties
Molecular formula C6nH(10n+2)O(5n+1)
Molar mass variable
Appearance white powder
Solubility in water Freely soluble or readily dispersible in water[1]
Solubility slightly soluble to insoluble in anhydrous alcohol[1]
Hazards
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray-dried powder.[1] Maltodextrin is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and might be either moderately sweet or almost flavorless. It is commonly used for the production of sodas and candy. It can also be found as an ingredient in a variety of other processed foods.

Structure[edit]

Maltodextrin consists of D-glucose units connected in chains of variable length. The glucose units are primarily linked with α(1→4) glycosidic bonds. Maltodextrin is typically composed of a mixture of chains that vary from three to seventeen glucose units long.[2]

Maltodextrins are classified by DE (dextrose equivalent) and have a DE between 3 to 20. The higher the DE value, the shorter the glucose chains, the higher the sweetness, the higher the solubility and the lower heat resistance. Above DE 20, the European Union's CN code calls it glucose syrup, at DE 10 or lower the customs CN code nomenclature classifies maltodextrins as dextrins.

Production[edit]

Maltodextrin can be enzymatically derived from any starch. In the US, this starch is usually corn; in Europe, it is commonly wheat. Wheat-derived maltodextrin may cause concern for individuals suffering from gluten intolerance. If wheat is used to make maltodextrin, it will appear on the label.[3][better source needed]

Uses[edit]

Maltodextrin is sometimes used in beer brewing to increase the specific gravity of the final product.[4] This improves the mouthfeel of the beer, increases head retention and reduces the dryness of the drink. Maltodextrin has no flavor and is not fermented by the yeast, so it does not increase the alcohol content of the brew. It is also used in snacks such as Sun Chips. It is used in "light" peanut butter to reduce the fat content but keep the texture (as in Kraft Light Smooth Peanut Butter). Research is underway at Virginia Tech to use maltodextrin with air to make a new kind of cheaper, refillable, biodegradable battery to generate electricity for cell phones, video game handhelds and other electronic gadgets.[5]

As food ingredient[edit]

One of the most common uses of maltodextrin is as a food additive, where it's used to thicken products. It is practically tasteless and colorless character makes it an easy — and inexpensive — way to “bulk up” foods like oatmeal, salad dressings, and commercial sauces. Since it doesn't really have any nutritional value, it is often criticized as being something of an “empty” additive. In nearly all cases, the same thickening could be achieved through other, often more wholesome means, but adding the processed powder is a shortcut favored by commercial food preparers all over the world as a way to lessen costs and improve volume. [6]

The compound is also frequently used as a filler in products like sugar substitutes. The white powder often blends right in, and it can stretch the quantity of an item without impacting its taste. On its own, the powder often looks a lot like sugar, so blending in a few scoops is a common way of selling less for more.

Maltodextrin has a glycemic index ranging from 85 to 105 so it should not be considered suitable for diabetics.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]