It can be used as a sneaky way to sweeten processed foods without having to use the word, "sugar"and is a common ingredient in products such as infant formula, baked goods, cereals, baby food, soups and sauces. It's also used as a filler, an anti-caking agent, or to increase the shelf-life of packaged food. Because it can give food a fat-like quality due to its thickening character, it provides texture without the fat. Maltodextrin can be found in everything from low-fat salad dressings to nutrition bars and "health" drinks! Chances are, you could probably find this sneaky food additive in at least one packaged food product in your kitchen cupboard.
Where does it come from?
Derived primarily from treated grain starch, usually from corn or rice, it is then hydrolyzed by adding enzymes and acids, filtered, and once purified becomes maltodextrin. The scary thing? The end product is basically the same composition to Corn Syrup Solids. The other scary thing? Maltodextrin is very often derived from Genetically Modified corn.
Corn Syrup Solids? GMOs? Yikes!
Although Maltodextrin is hydrolyzed to have less sugar content than Corn Syrup Solids, it still has a glycemic index double that of table sugar. The result is that when consumed, especially when not combined with healthy fats and proteins, the presence of maltodextrin causes an unhealthy spike in blood sugar levels. As this happens, it becomes much harder for the body to process and absorb nutrients, not to mention, have a healthy state of mind and well-being. In fact, Maltodextrin has become popular for athletes due to it's ability to give sharp bursts of energy. Unfortunately, unless you are participating in a high-demand endurance activity, such as running a marathon, it is very unlikely that your body will be able to to properly metabolize this starch. Since the starch cannot be metabolized, the body doesn't know what else to do with it except store it as fat.
Become an Ingredient Expert
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of reading labels and ingredients lists. While this can be quite time consuming, eventually it becomes easier when you know what to look for and which ingredients to avoid. The solution? Stick to high-quality whole food products, such as fruits, vegetables, good animal protein, and organic, Non-GMO food whenever possible. Being a smart shopper involves knowing what is in your food to make the best choices that are available to you at the time. It is best to avoid foods such as packaged baked goods, sodas, candy, and even some foods labeled as "natural" that may contain this sneaky ingredient.
Is there such thing as "good" Maltodextrin?
There are some organic sources of maltodextrin that are derived from tapioca starch using a natural enzymatic process. These sources of maltodextrin are better for a few reasons. The organic versions not supporting GMO corn or GMO sugar beets that likely contain high levels of glyphosates from the use of herbicides or residual pesticides! These natural sources of maltodextrin also result in a better glycemic index than that of the maltodextrin that is produced from corn and rice.
The truth is, maltodextrin is added to thousands of food products without your knowing. The industry hides what it really is, or how much is used in the product. It does not have to be listed as a sugar and can often make up as much as 30% of a food's ingredients! For instance, one of the most well known brands of supplements uses up to 20% Maltodextrin in their fruit powder, which translates to less Vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Although the FDA generally recognizes maltodextrin as safe for consumption, it is worth knowing what this food additive is, and how it may affect you. Particularly those who need to monitor their blood sugar levels should keep an eye out for maltodextrin.
Does Sarvaa Superfood ever add Maltodextrin?
Could any of your suppliers use Maltodextrin?
Sometimes yes. There are a couple of minor ingredients, such as Pomegranate powder, that occasionally contain a small percentage of organic maltodextrin. And we only use those suppliers as an emergency back-up when our regular source is out of stock for a short while. However, the percentage of any Sarvaa blend would be minuscule and would be organic maltodextrin, and less than 1% of the final mix. Again, it would be organic maltodextrin. This amount is so small that it would not affect your blood sugar, especially in the context of all the good fiber, protein, and healthy carbohydrates. Sarvaa Superfood maintains a high commitment to providing the best, nutrient dense superfoods on the planet. Sarvaa ingredients are sourced from small farms around the globe that are in alignment with this vision.