Maltodextrin Benefits and Applications in Different Industries

maltodextrin as a carrier for bioactive compounds

Why Maltodextrin is considered a key point ingredient in various industries?

Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate that is obtained from starch through partial hydrolysis. It has unique properties that make it a versatile ingredient and a popular choice in various industries.

Maltodextrin has extensive applications in the food, pharmaceutical, industrial, and personal care sectors. Maltodextrin is widely used as a thickener, filler, and binding agent across various sectors. This article explores its diverse applications and advantages.

Composition and Production of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a mixture of glucose polymers that consist of α-D-glucose units linked primarily by (1→4) glycosidic linkages that can vary in composition depending on the source of starch and the degree of hydrolysis.

The glucose polymers have chain lengths ranging from three to about 20 glucose units, the length of the chains determines the properties of Maltodextrin.

Maltodextrin Structure

Source: Wikipedia

The glucose polymers have chain lengths ranging from three to about 20 glucose units, the length of the chains determines the properties of Maltodextrin.

Production of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is produced commercially by treating starch with enzymes. Enzymatic hydrolysis is more used as it provides better control over the process and produces a more consistent product.

After hydrolysis, the resulting mixture is typically purified to remove impurities. This involves filtration, centrifugation, or other separation techniques. The purified liquid mixture is then concentrated and dried to produce a powder form of Maltodextrin.

Applications of Maltodextrin in Food and beverages

Maltodextrin helps to provide a more satisfying and enjoyable experience for consumers in food products. Here is an article that shows the role of Maltodextrin in the food industry and examples of products and Maltodextrin percent in them. Source: Maltodextrin in the food industry

Role of Maltodextrin in the Food Industry

1-Thickening and Stabilizing Agent:

Maltodextrin is a common food additive used to thicken and stabilize various products. It helps prevent ingredients from separating, settling, or clumping together by providing a consistent matrix or structure. It is useful in food products like sauces, dressings, gravies, and soups.

maltodextrin in sauses










It improves the physicochemical properties of products, and enhances the texture and consistency of them, resulting in a smoother and more uniform mouthfeel.

2- As Filler and Bulking Agent:

Maltodextrin is often used as a sweetener and bulking agent in processed foods, such as desserts, powdered mixes, and beverages. It provides a mild sweetness that makes it an ideal filler and helps improve the mouthfeel and texture of food products.

3-Fat and Oil Replacement:

Maltodextrin can be used as a fat and oil replacement in certain food applications, such as baked goods and snacks. It creates a shiny, crispy surface and helps reduce the fat content while maintaining the desired texture and taste.

maltodextrin in bakeries

Here is an article that talks about Maltodextrin benefits in oil replacement

4- As Encapsulation and Flavor Carrier:

Maltodextrin is often used as a carrier for encapsulating flavors, colors, and other additives. It helps protect these sensitive ingredients, enhances their stability, and ensures their uniform distribution in food products.

5- In Powdered Beverages and Instant Foods:

Maltodextrin is commonly used in powdered beverages, which include a wide variety of products such as sports drinks, powdered juices, and instant coffee or tea mixes.

It helps improve solubility and flowability and enhances their quality. It also acts as an anti-caking agent by preventing the absorption of moisture in powdered formulations.

maltodextrin in powder beverage

This research shows the result of using Maltodextrin in energy drink 

6-To enhance shelf-life stability of Dairy Products and Frozen Desserts:

Maltodextrin is used in the production of dairy products like ice cream, yogurt, and dairy-based drinks. It is useful for maintaining the quality of frozen desserts and prevents the formation of large ice crystals during storage.

It prevents grainy textures over time in frozen products and helps improve the texture, stability, and mouthfeel of frozen desserts.

maltodextrin in frozen yoghurt

7- To enhance Consistency and filling of Confectionery and Baked Goods:

Maltodextrin is commonly used in confectionery products like candies, chewing gums, and other sweets. It provides bulk, enhances texture, and improves the consistency of fillings and coatings.

In baked goods, Maltodextrin contributes to extending the shelf life of bakery products by reducing water activity that inhibits microbial growth and helps maintain the freshness of the product for a longer period.

8-Maltodextrin in the Sports Nutrition Sector

Maltodextrin is ideal as an energy source for athletes. It is rapidly absorbed, making it a preferred ingredient in sports drinks and energy bars, and providing the necessary fuel for physical exertion.

Maltodextrin in the Pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry utilizes Maltodextrin in drug formulations to improve drug stability, solubility, and bioavailability.

Maltodextrin aids in the controlled release of drugs, ensuring optimal therapeutic effects. It is compatible with different active ingredients(APIs) which makes it a popular choice for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Benefits of Maltodextrin in drug formulation

1-Encapsulation of Active Ingredients

Maltodextrin is used in the encapsulation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). It can form a protective coating around the APIs by forming hydrogen bonds that are vital to provide stability and controlled release properties.

This encapsulation technique is particularly useful for sensitive or volatile compounds that need to be protected from degradation or require modified release patterns.



source: MDPI

2-Stabilizer and Diluent in Oral Solutions and Suspensions

Maltodextrin acts as a stabilizer and emulsifier in certain drug formulations. It helps to maintain the stability and uniformity of suspensions, emulsions, or liquid formulations, preventing the settling of solid particles and phase separation.

Maltodextrin can form complexes with active ingredients, which can protect the active ingredient from degradation and keep the pharmaceutical ingredient suspended in the water

This is particularly crucial for suspensions, where the active ingredients are insoluble or poorly soluble in the liquid medium.

3-Improved Solubility of active ingredients

Maltodextrin improves the solubility of poorly soluble drugs. It acts by reducing the surface tension of water, making it easier for the water molecules to surround the pharmaceutical ingredient and dissolve it.

Resulting in enhancing the bioavailability of various drugs such as fat-soluble vitamins and antibiotics such as Erythromycin and Tetracycline.

4-Controlled Release of Drugs

The controlled release of drugs is crucial for maintaining therapeutic levels in the body over an extended period and reducing the dosage required for promoting therapeutic effects.

Maltodextrin facilitates this controlled release, allowing for a steady and sustained effect.

5-Binder and Filler in Tablet Formulations:

Maltodextrin is commonly used as an excipient in tablet formulations. It acts as a filler and binder providing bulk and binding of the tablet ingredients.

It improves the compressibility and flow properties of Tablets, it also helps maintain the structural integrity of tablets, and ensures a uniform distribution of the active ingredients.

Maltodextrin in Tablets

6-Compatibility with Various Formulations:

Maltodextrin is versatile and compatible with a wide range of pharmaceutical formulations. Its ability to work well with different APIs makes it a valuable ingredient in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process.

7-Carrier for Spray Drying:

Maltodextrin is commonly used as a carrier in the spray drying process which is important in the production of powdered pharmaceuticals.

Maltodextrin promotes the rapid evaporation of moisture from the droplets. Its molecular weight and high water solubility make it effective in absorbing moisture, and the conversion of liquid formulations into dry, free-flowing powders.

maltodextrin in spray drying

Source: Taylor&Frances 

8-In topical drugs like creams, pastes, and ointments

Maltodextrin interacts with the water in the formulation to create a heat-stable, smooth substance to improve its texture, stability, and absorption into the skin.

It improves the consistency and spreading of products such as antibiotics, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory creams, and it also helps to keep their activity for longer.

In conclusion, Maltodextrin plays a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry, contributing to the stability, solubility, and overall effectiveness of different medications. It is widely used in formulating a wide range of pharmaceutical products.

Maltodextrin in Cosmetics and Care products

Features of Maltodextrin in Cosmetics

1. Skin-Friendly Formulation: Maltodextrin’s compatibility with various skin types makes it a popular choice for formulators aiming to create inclusive products.

2. Long-Lasting Effects: Experience prolonged effects with cosmetics enriched with maltodextrin, ensuring your beauty lasts throughout the day.

3. Suitable for Various Skin Types: Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, maltodextrin’s versatility ensures a harmonious blend with different skin types.

Role of Maltodextrin in cosmetic products

1-Binding Agent and Texture Enhancer:

Maltodextrin helps bind ingredients and formulation components of cosmetic products together so it improves and enhances the texture and consistency of cosmetic products, resulting in providing a smooth and luxurious feel.

It helps to create a smooth and spreadable consistency, preventing product separation and maintaining uniformity.

maltodextrin in ointments

2-Acts as humectant agent:

Maltodextrin can attract and retain moisture in cosmetic formulation, it helps keep the skin hydrated by drawing moisture from the environment and locking it into the skin.

3-Film-Forming Agent:

Maltodextrin has the ability to create a delicate layer on the skin, hair, or nails, offering a protective shield that extends the lifespan of specific beauty products. This quality of forming a film is beneficial in products such as hairsprays, setting sprays, and nail polishes.

4-Absorbent agent:

Maltodextrin is a useful ingredient in cosmetics products like powders, dry shampoos, and oil-absorbing formulations due to its absorption properties. It helps to reduce shine by absorbing excess oil and sebum, providing a matte appearance.


Maltodextrin is a highly versatile ingredient that finds its use in numerous industries. It enhances the texture of foods, contributes to drug formulations, and proves to be invaluable in various applications.

In the food industry, Maltodextrin plays a crucial role in enhancing texture and mouthfeel. Its ability to act as a thickener and filler makes it a popular choice in processed foods. It also has applications in the beverage industry, contributing to the smooth texture of various drinks.

The pharmaceutical sector utilizes Maltodextrin for its role in drug formulations. It serves as a reliable binding agent and is commonly used in tablet coatings. The adaptability of drug delivery systems makes it a vital element in the production of pharmaceuticals.

As industries evolve, we can expect to see more innovative uses of Maltodextrin.

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