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What Is Maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin is a kind of a sweet polysaccharide. This chemical compound has less calories than sugar—about four calories per gram—and contains just minute amounts of fat. It also has a small amount of fiber and protein.

Maltodextrin is thought to be more easily digested, and doesn’t cause the stomach upsets associated with other sweeteners. This makes it ideal for people who are overweight, or are trying to control their sugar levels. In fact, it is crucial for people who have Type 2 Diabetes. Since many believe that, among the artificial sweeteners, it has the closest taste to sugar, it is best used in teas, coffees and even powdered soft drinks. It is also found in flavored gelatins and instant pudding. Since it also has thickening qualities maltodextrin is also used in sauces and salad dressings.

Maltodextrin is manufactured from rice, corn or potato starch. When these foods are cooked, the starch breaks down, aided by the release of natural acids and enzymes. This procedure is called hydrolysis. It isolates the maltodextrin, which in its purest form, is a white powder. The end result is a simple white powder that contains roughly four calories per gram, and extremely small amounts of fiber, fat, and protein.

Maltodextrin is easier to digest than other sugar substitutes, and is made from natural source (unlike others, which are artificially combined in laboratories). That is why some people believe that it has less health risks than other sweeteners. It is also inexpensive and readily available, and completely safe to use.

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