A lot of us might probably be unaware of this food ingredient, or we might have heard and known it quite well. Either way, it is very certain that we must have consumed it a number of times all through our life time. The thing is, it will simply be difficult to pick up about 5 spices that are labeled in our kitchen today and not find Maltodextrin as part of the composition of such ingredients. What this shows is that many of the packaged spices and some other ingredients we use in our kitchen have some maltodextrin content in them.
Some of the ingredients in which we can find this Maltodextrin substance include Frozen yogurt, salad dressings, Cheetos, spice mixes, baked goods, candy, sugar-free as well as fat-free products. More so, you are likely to find this substance in the nutritional bar, meats, mass gainers, Splenda, including a number of meal replacement shakes like Advocare. Despite the fact that a lot have been said as regards high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, MSG whereas maltodextrin can be found even in a larger number of foods, yet it is not being talked about as much.
As a result of this, we are left to ask a very important question. What precisely is Maltodextrin, and is it actually good for consumption? Firstly, let us get to understand what Maltodextrin truly is.
What really is Maltodextrin?
The major use of Maltodextrin is a filler or thickener to supersize the amount of processed food. Another of its uses is in thickening of products like gelatins, salad dressings, and sauces. In the case of sweetening products like canned fruits, dessert or powdered drinks, it can easily be mixed with artificial sweeteners.
A teaspoon of maltodextrin is just like sugar as it contains 3.8 grams of carbs, 12 calories, and almost no mineral or vitamin content. Despite the fact that starches, on the whole, has a low nutrient content, the process that is needed for the production of maltodextrin further decreases it’s nutritional content.
Maltodextrin can also be described as a kind of preservative that helps to extend the shelf life and also improve the texture of packaged foods. The use of this substance is not just in our kitchen or consumable products alone; it is also used for the thickening of many personal care items like products for hair and body care.
Some of the popular products that contain maltodextrin include:
We might also want to know that Maltodextrin is a by-product of cornstarch which can easily be broken. What is done is that the starch is cooked then enzymes and/or acids are added to break the starch into smaller polymers. This process can easily be compared to what takes place in the body during the digestion of carbohydrates. This Maltodextrin can be in different forms.
There are polymers of dextrose which are also well known as glucose polymers and they usually come in form of dried powders. Although they do not have much protein, fiber or fat, some Maltodextrin is known for having fiber that is actively soluble and this helps in the decreasing of excessive weight and fat.
Some basic usage of Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin is the most important substance that one is likely to find as one of the major components of a lot of weight-gaining supplements and products. Therefore, they are can also come in handy for some people that will like to gain more weight. Most weight gain supplements usually have high calories in them. This large amount of calories is meant to help the users of these weight gain supplements add up in muscle and weight.
This substance is almost tasteless, it lacks strong flavor and it blends very well with liquids of all kinds. Another thing it does is that it enhances the capability of protein powders to blend with other liquids. This is the reason why a lot of bodybuilders prefer to prepare their meals by adding maltodextrin to 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder and 8 to 12 ounces of water. The good thing about this product is that it has no fat content and can give energy for long hours.
The fact that Maltodextrin is known to be a carbohydrate that is easy to digest, makes it frequently included in sports drinks and snacks for athletes. In the case of athletes and bodybuilders who are trying to gain weight, maltodextrin can definitely be a good source to obtain quick calories during or after a workout. Even in the absence of much water, maltodextrin still digests properly unlike some carbohydrates; this makes it a very good alternative for getting quick calories without getting dehydrated. According to some studies, maltodextrin supplements can help in the reservation of anaerobic power during an exercise.
For athletes, the recovery and performance result that is gotten as a result of consuming maltodextrin may overweigh its poor nutrient content. Nevertheless, as far as the average individual is concerned, this substance has no health benefit whatsoever. If consumed without exercise, it may result to excessive weight gain because it accumulates calories easily.
It is important to also bear it in mind that majority of foods that has maltodextrin in them have undergone a highly modified process. for this reason, they give the consumer of this product little or no nutrient and they are also associated with greater disease dangers.