Benefits of Maltodextrin as a Food Additive

The term “maltodextrin'' is not familiar to many, but its role as a food additive abounds. Bell Chem, your food ingredient supplier, has the following information to share about this multiple-use additive and how it can enhance your food and beverage production.

Binder and Bulking Agent

Maltodextrin is a hydrocolloid, which is an important factor for bulking food. As maltodextrin expands in water, it forms a viscous, gel-like substance, which is why it is found in many processed foods.

Carbohydrate Source

At 4 kcal/g, maltodextrin, a polysaccharide derived from the starch of corn, potatoes or rice, supplies a rich amount of carbohydrates. Infants unable to process lactose benefit from formula containing maltodextrin because it provides a necessary energy source. Since it has many of the properties of glucose but chemically differs, maltodextrin does not add to osmotic load in the digestive system, which aids in digestion for infants and those with gastrointestinal disorders. 

This ability to reduce osmotic load means glycogen breakdown occurs more slowly, which is why maltodextrin is an ingredient in sports drinks where a longer stretch of energy is necessary to power through, like marathons and tennis matches.


The ability to disperse a normally non-miscible product into a medium is one of maltodextrin’s prime assets, especially when micro amounts of expensive or highly-flavored ingredients are added to a large amount of product. Retaining the same flavor with every mouthful of food – no matter how minute the amount of flavor is within a product – makes maltodextrin a necessity.

Fat Replacer

Low-fat and nonfat foods often contain maltodextrin since it has the same mouthfeel as fat. It is an ingredient in dairy products, peanut butter, salad dressings, and other high-calorie foods. Since fat contains 9 kcal/g compared to 4 kcal/g of maltodextrin, foods containing maltodextrin as an ingredient can be designated low calorie.

Spray-Drying Agent

Many heat-sensitive ingredients, such as vitamin C, are encapsulated in a fine spray of maltodextrin. This stabilizes ingredients and, therefore, extends shelf life. When a liquid ingredient is spray-dried with maltodextrin, it solidifies and often forms clumps, such as in drink or pudding mixes.

Bell Chem is a food ingredient supplier based in Longwood, FL (just north of Orlando) with hundreds of products stocked in their 50,000+ square-foot warehouse, including multi-purpose maltodextrin. You can expect the highest quality products, expedited shipping options for maximum efficiency, and unrivaled personalized customer service. Let our knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives and accounting staff give personalized attention to all your needs by either calling 407-339-BELL (2355) or by sending us an online message.