Pharmaceutical industry

Maltodextrin: An Effective Solution for Enhancing Bioactive Compound Delivery and Stability

In the pharmaceutical industry, carriers for bioactive compounds play a crucial role in the delivery, effectiveness, and therapeutic effects of bioactive compounds.

Maltodextrin is a versatile and effective choice among carriers. It represents an effective approach to improving the bioavailability of bioactive compounds, enhancing drug efficacy and outcomes in pharmaceutical formulations.

In this article, we will explore the relationship between Maltodextrin and bioactive compounds, applications, benefits, and the advantages of Maltodextrin to enhance your production.

What is Maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin is a type of carbohydrate that is produced through controlled enzymatic hydrolysis of starch. It is widely used in the manufacturing of drugs as an inert ingredient that helps in the efficient absorption of bioactive compounds into the bloodstream.

It plays a crucial role in stabilizing, and maintaining the potency and efficacy of the drug throughout its shelf life, and facilitating the delivery of drugs to the intended target.

What are Bioactive Compounds?

Bioactive compounds refer to naturally occurring or synthetic substances that have a specific biological effect and activity within the body. These compounds include antioxidants, vitamins, probiotics, antimicrobial agents, peptides, and enzymes.

Bioactive compounds are essential in the pharmaceutical industry as they serve as the foundation for developing new drugs and treatments. Their various biological activities offer potential solutions for various medical conditions.

These compounds are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for the development of drugs and medications.

Importance of enhancing bioavailability of bioactive compounds

Bioavailability refers to the extent and rate at which an active compound is absorbed from its site of administration and enters the bloodstream for its intended biological effects.

Improving the bioavailability of bioactive compounds is crucial for achieving optimal therapeutic efficacy, dose optimization, cost-effectiveness, reducing variability, and maximizing the nutritional benefits.

It plays a critical role in improving patient outcomes, advancing drug development, and optimizing the utilization of bioactive compounds in pharmaceuticals and nutrition.

Challenges that meet the bioavailability of bioactive compounds

The bioavailability of bioactive compounds is influenced by several challenges in delivering these compounds effectively to achieve their potential benefits such as poor solubility, low permeability, high susceptibility to degradation, and low stability.

Overcoming these challenges can maximize the therapeutic effect of bioactive compounds.

Maltodextrin as an Ideal Carrier

Maltodextrin is a commonly used carbohydrate-based carrier for bioactive compounds in the pharmaceutical industry.

It increases the concentration and availability of the bioactive compound in the body, leading to improved therapeutic outcomes. It offers several advantages as a carrier system.

Here is research that talked about Maltodextrin’s benefits as a carrier in the pharmaceutical industry.

Role of Maltodextrin in enhancing bioavailability of bioactive compounds

1-Solubility Enhancement:

Maltodextrin is highly soluble in water, and it can enhance the solubility of poorly soluble bioactive compounds. By forming inclusion complexes or dispersing the active ingredients in its aqueous environment. Maltodextrin increases the concentration of the compound in the formulation, aiding its dissolution and subsequent absorption in the body.

2-Protection from Degradation:

Maltodextrin acts as a protective barrier, shielding bioactive compounds from degradation caused by environmental factors such as heat, light, or moisture. This protection helps maintain the stability and integrity of the compound, ensuring its bioavailability over the intended shelf life of the product.

3-Enhanced Absorption:

Maltodextrin can improve the absorption of bioactive compounds by enhancing their dispersibility and dissolution. The increased solubility and reduced particle size achieved through maltodextrin carriers promote better interaction with the absorbing surfaces in the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract, leading to improved absorption and bioavailability.

 4-Gastrointestinal Stability:

Maltodextrin can enhance the stability of bioactive compounds in the gastrointestinal environment. It can protect the compounds from enzymatic degradation and pH-related instability, allowing them to reach their target sites intact and maintain their pharmacological activity.

5-Targeted Delivery:

Maltodextrin can be formulated into various delivery systems, such as microspheres or nanoparticles, which facilitate targeted delivery of bioactive compounds. These systems protect the compound during transit, release it at the desired site, and improve its uptake by specific cells or tissues, thereby enhancing bioavailability.

Mode of action of Maltodextrin in stabilizing bioactive compounds

Maltodextrin plays a vital role in stabilizing bioactive compounds, through several mechanisms

1-Formation of Protective Shield:

Maltodextrin acts as a protective shield around bioactive compounds, forming a stable matrix. This physical barrier helps shield the compounds from external factors such as oxygen, light, and moisture, which can lead to degradation and affect their therapeutic effect.

Maltodextrin in microcapsulation

Role of maltodextrin in microencapsulation. Source: sciencedirect

2- Controls of Moisture:

Maltodextrin is hygroscopic, attracting water molecules. It prevents the degradation of bioactive compounds by controlling moisture and acting as a barrier, reducing water access and maintaining stability.

3-Prevents of Oxidation:

Oxidation is a common cause of degradation in many bioactive compounds. Maltodextrin, with its ability to create a barrier, helps prevent the exposure of bioactive compounds to oxygen, reducing the likelihood of oxidation and the formation of reactive oxygen species.

 4-Controls the Release of Active Ingredients:

Maltodextrin plays an important role in controlling the release of active ingredients. This helps to maintain the stability of bioactive compounds. By regulating the release rate, it ensures a consistent and sustained concentration of the compounds over time. This minimizes the risk of degradation due to sudden exposure.

5-Reduces Sensitivity to Environmental Conditions:

Bioactive compounds are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Maltodextrin aids in stabilizing these compounds by reducing their sensitivity to environmental conditions, making them more effective and suitable for a variety of storage conditions.

6-Prevents of Agglomeration:

Some bioactive compounds are prone to agglomeration, leading to clumping or uneven distribution in formulations.

Maltodextrin acts as a dispersing agent, preventing agglomeration and ensuring a uniform distribution of bioactive compounds within the carrier matrix.

7-Extend the Shelf Life of formulations:

The protective properties of Maltodextrin contribute to extending the shelf life of products containing bioactive compounds.

By minimizing degradation, the overall stability of the formulation is enhanced, ensuring that the product remains effective for a more extended period.

This research showed the role of Maltodextrin in the microencapsulation of bioactive compounds

Examples of Bioactive compounds that are commonly Formulated with Maltodextrin


Maltodextrin is frequently used as a carrier for probiotic bacteria in the production of probiotic supplements and pharmaceutical formulations. It helps protect the viability and stability of the bacteria during storage and enhances their survival in the gastrointestinal tract.


Many antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10 are formulated with maltodextrin to improve their solubility, stability, and bioavailability. It can effectively protect these sensitive compounds from degradation and facilitate their incorporation into various dosage forms.


Maltodextrin is used to encapsulate and stabilize various nutraceuticals, including herbal extracts, polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids. It helps enhance their solubility, protect them from environmental factors, and improve their absorption in the body.

Here is research that shows the role of Maltodextrin in optimizing folic acid emulsion 

Anti-inflammatory Agents:

Bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, such as curcumin, quercetin, and flavonoids, are often formulated with maltodextrin to enhance their bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy.

Antimicrobial Agents:

Maltodextrin can be used as a carrier for antimicrobial agents like essential oils, plant extracts, or antimicrobial peptides both hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs. It facilitates their controlled release and optimizes their antimicrobial activity in pharmaceutical formulations.

Here is research that shows the characterization of maltodextrin-based proniosomes of cephalosporins


Maltodextrin is used as a carrier for enzymes in pharmaceutical applications. It helps to stabilize and protect enzymes from denaturation, which enhances their shelf life and preserves their catalytic activity.


In conclusion, Maltodextrin plays a significant role in enhancing the bioavailability of bioactive compounds in pharmaceutical formulations. Its versatile properties contribute to improved solubility, stability, absorption, and targeted delivery of these compounds.

Maltodextrin acts as a solubility enhancer, protecting bioactive compounds from degradation and promoting their dissolution and absorption. It can be utilized in various drug delivery systems, including encapsulation, controlled release, mucoadhesive formulations, and dry powder inhalation.

Maltodextrin helps to address challenges related to poor solubility, low permeability, first-pass metabolism, and degradation. By overcoming these barriers, maltodextrin helps to improve the bioavailability of bioactive compounds which can lead to better therapeutic outcomes.

The use of Maltodextrin in pharmaceutical formulations represents a valuable approach to improving drug efficacy and outcomes.

Enhance your production today by discovering our Maltodextrin that meets your specific needs. Click here to learn more about Maltodextrin in pharmaceutical industries




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