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Baking with Sugar Alternatives?

Organic Potato Maltodextrin, a preferred thickening agent

Maltodextrin, the starch-derived food additive is regularly in use as a filling or thickening agent in a wide range of beverages and commercial foods. Though almost tasteless, maltodextrin often seems slightly sweet. According to most of the nutritional experts, this substance contains very few calories, vitamins and other nutrients. It is frequently in use to bulk products up and enhance the appearance and texture of products.

Maltodextrin is created by partial hydrolysis of starch. This is a rapidly digestible glucose which can be derived from large variety of natural sources of starch like potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, etc. Maltodextrin when derived from organically grown products is known as organic maltodextrin and when derived from organic potatoes are known as organic potato maltodextrin. Since this process involves the least chances of contamination, potato maltodextrin from organically grown potato is considered one of the best sources of maltodextrin.

In the United States, Maltodextrin is derived from either potatoes or corn. It is commonly used along with other additives and spices to create a sweet coating or dry savory for fried snack foods like potato chips and corn chips. Maltodextrin which is considered to be a polysaccharide is used as an alternative sweetener to fructose or sucrose.

Some of the common applications of organic potato maltodextrin are:

As a Thickener: As an additive, maltodextrin is used to thicken food products. Being tasteless and colorless, it comes as an inexpensive and easy way to “bulk up” foods such as salad dressings, oatmeal and commercial sauces. Therefore, the commercial food preparers across the world favor maltodextrin to lessen costs and increase volume.

As Filler: For the products like sugar substitutes, maltodextrin is used as filler. Being a white powder, it has the advantage of blending right in and stretches the quantity of a substance without changing its taste. Moreover, it is a less expensive product than any natural sugar substitute. It is also used by several pharmaceutical companies in pills and capsules as filler to stabilize them.

In Brewing: Maltodextrin is a popular substance used in beer in order to make it seem heavier and more substantial. The advantage is it does not increase the yeast levels or alcohol content.

Preferred choice for Athletes: As maltodextrin gets digested in our body as a simple carbohydrate, it is capable of releasing quick energy. It is, therefore, used as an ingredient in many sports drinks and the athletes love this compound. The athletes also add it to their water bottles in small amount to get quick boost during workout.

Maltodextrin is often found in snack foods like flavored potato chips, dry potato flakes or crackers. When it is about relative safety of food products, the primary concern should be mostly with the sources used to create it. Potato maltodextrin which is created from organic potato starch is generally considered safe for consumers. As potato or corn based products are gluten-free, these are safe for those with Celiac disease when consumed in small quantities. In the US, Potato maltodextrin which is derived from potatoes are safe for moderate consumption.