Making the Most of Maltodextrins
1.What is the function of maltodextrin?

Maltodextrins act as dispersing aids, flavor carriers, bulking agents, humectants, viscosifiers and other functional ingredients. They can work in a wide variety of applications - from dry mixes to fillings and sauces to beverages. Due to their osmolality, they can be a valuable source of nutritive carbohydrates. Maltodextrins aid in moisture control. Soluble sugar molecules with a low molecular weight lower water activity and considerably depress freezing points. The higher molecular-weight chains - represented by the low DE maltodextrins - bind water and add solids without these effects.

2.What is the role of maltodextrin in sports and nutrition?

For sports, infant and medical beverages - such as oral rehydration and low-residue liquid feeding products - maltodextrins provide complex carbohydrates, and allow the formulation of a product that matches the osmolality of bodily fluids (280 to 300 mOsm/Kg). This can eliminate cramping and other undesirable side effects caused by rehydration with water. To provide a balance of caloric concentration and osmolality, maltodextrins can be used as part of the carbohydrate source. The lower DE/higher molecular weight products provide lower osmolality on a weight basis than sugars, such as dextrose, fructose or glucose. If the goal is to deliver a certain level of calories, much higher levels of maltodextrins can be used, while still maintaining the body's osmotic balance. Because maltodextrins do not contribute sweetness, they are typically combined with sugars for flavor.