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Maltodextrin (from corn) in ketchup


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The Risks of Maltodextrin Last Updated: Aug 16, 2013 | By Allison Adams

Maltodextrin is an artificial sugar that has a mild, sweet taste. Maltodextrin is also known as a polysaccharide and manufacturers create this artificial sugar by applying acids or other enzymes to cornstarch. Maltodextrin is a chain of repeating glucose molecules connected together. You can use this artificial sugar as an additive and a sugar substitute. Maltodextrin also has some purported risks associated with its use.

Structure of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin contains D-glucose units linked in chains of variable length. Normally, these chains range from three to 19 glucose units. The dextrose equivalent scale rates the percentage of reducing sugars in a sweetener. Maltodextrin scores between three and 20 on the DE scale. A high DE value indicates more sweetness, shorter chains and high solubility. A DE above 20 classifies a sweetener as a glucose syrup.


Manufacturers can derive maltodextrin from any starch. In the United States, manufacturers primarily use corn, and in Europe, manufactures primarily use wheat. The term maltodextrin applies to any starch hydrolysis product containing less than 20 glucose units. For this reason, maltodextrin refers to a family of products, instead of a specific product. Wheat-derived maltodextrin may pose health concerns for individuals with celiac disease because of the gluten found in wheat-derived maltodextrin. However, in most cases, the maltodextrin production process completely removes the protein from the wheat resulting in a gluten-free wheat-derived maltodextrin.


Someone told me they ordered a weight loss aid that you sprinkle all over your foods.   I WILL NOT MENTION THE NAME.   The number one ingredient is maltodextrin.   There's a sprinkle for salty foods and one for sweet foods.   After much research, I've found that it gives many people headaches similar to  MSG headaches...similar properties.   


Maltodextrin is a starch-derived food additive that is commonly used as a thickening or filling agent in a range of commercial foods and beverages. It is nearly tasteless but is often described as being slightly sweet. Most nutritional experts consider the substance to have basically a “zero sum” content, which means that it contains very little in the way of calories, vitamins, or other nutrients. It is mostly used to bulk products up and to improve their texture and appearance.

Use as a Thickener

One of the most common uses of maltodextrin is as a food additive, where it's used to thicken products. Its virtually 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.


The first essential to coping with MSG is understanding where MSG is hidden -- just in case you would like to avoid it, or would like to begin to understand how much MSG you are able to tolerate without having an obvious adverse reaction.

Everyone knows that some people have reactions after eating the food ingredient monosodium glutamate -- reactions that include migraine headaches, upset stomach, fuzzy thinking, diarrhea, heart irregularities, asthma, and/or mood swings.  What many don’t know, is that more than 40 different ingredients contain the chemical in monosodium glutamate -- the processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid -- that causes these reactions. 
These ingredients have names like maltodextrin, gelatin, citric acid, and sodium caseinate, that don't give the consumer a clue to the presence of MSG.

After reading what's in those sprinkles besides the maltodextrin...there's no way I would sprinkle anything but compliant herbs, spices, lemons, limes and other fresh citrus fruits over my food.  Save your money and enjoy real foods.



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