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The Boosting Rinse!
Ever thought that a few seconds of mouth rinse can enhance performance, especially in workouts and physical sports! Well, a maltodextrin mouth rinse either before or in-between a workout or a game, activates the 'wires' that connect the mouth to the brain, which go on to tell the brain to in-turn inform the body that nutrition is on the way. This message then boosts the body of an athlete into more intense, faster, and consistent performance.

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide or polymer of carbohydrate, and is a member of the dextrin family. Dextrins are a group of carbohydrates having low molecular weight. They are produced from starch. Maltodextrin is also produced by cooking starch, a process known as the hydrolysis of starch. While producing it, acid or enzymes are used for facilitating the breakdown of starch. It can be digested easily, and is available as a white powder. Its constituent elements are D-glucose or dextrin units, which are connected in chains of different length.

Maltodextrin's Derivation

Maltodextrin has a wide range of applications as a food additive. It is usually sweet or without any flavor. In the United States, it is generally made from either rice, corn, potato or tapioca starch, while in Europe, wheat is commonly used for producing this food additive. It has the property of attracting water from the environment. Its characteristics vary to some extent depending upon the source of starch it has been extracted from. It is mainly used as a food additive due to its low calorie content. Generally, 1 gm of maltodextrin contains approximately 4 calories.

Its Role in Beverages

Maltodextrin is ideal as a sugar substitute for people who are trying to control their weight, as it is a well-known seasoning and drying agent in flavored powders, chocolate drinks, coffee powders, citrus drinks, and many other things. It can also be used by diabetics, as a sweetener in tea, coffee, etc.

People trying to gain weight are also benefited by consuming whey protein along with this food additive, as it is easily digestible. This polymer is added to protein drinks, and is also used in many energy drinks for being assimilable. It acts as a color controller, viscosity builder, flavoring, and a bulking agent in many nutritional powders; and many a time, it is used as a substitute for a portion of whipping agent in aerated drinks.

After heavy exercise or any other strenuous activity, if it is taken along with other nutrients, it speeds up the transportation of nutrients to the muscle tissues and cells, and helps in the absorption of these nutrients. It is because of this that it is widely used by bodybuilders.

Its Role in Baked & Instant Food

This food additive heightens and enhances the texture in cakes, biscuits, cupcakes, and other baked products. Often, maltodextrin behaves as a pseudo fat in baked food that is low in calories, by curbing the water, and providing a richer and moister feel to the food.

Maltodextrin is well-known for its open structure, dispersible behavior in cold water, flexibility, and the power to sustain lucidity and visual appeal, and hence, it is an apt carrying agent in instant food.

Few Other Uses of This Additive

  • Maltodextrin is used in health drinks, soups, and also in making sauces. It is used as a carbohydrate component in dry beverage mixes, puddings, desserts, cakes, cookie mixes, etc.
  • It is being used in infant food, particularly in non-milk fluids, for a long time.
  • It has also found application in the pharmaceutical and confectionery industry as a coating material along with glucose syrup.
  • Ice creams, food coatings, low-cal alcohol beer, cheese spreads, and salad dressings also make use of this additive.
  • Meal replacement powder, weight gain powder, and post-exercise supplements also contain maltodextrin.

Until now, its adverse effects on humans have not been proved, though, many are of the opinion that maltodextrin affects the blood sugar levels and also decays teeth. Few products like artificial sweeteners, energy drinks, and high fructose corn syrup can also impact ones health. Hence, it is advisable to consult your health care provider about its consumable amount. Also, celiac patients should avoid consuming this additive, and individuals who are allergic to gluten should be careful while taking maltodextrin derived from wheat.

Studies have shown that long-term use of the artificial sweetener sucralose, which is made from dextrose and maltodextrin, may cause enlargement of the liver, and kidney disorders in rodents.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.