Maltodextrin in infant nutrition: benefit and harm, the use of carbohydrate

Maltodextrin in baby food
  • Chemical composition
  • Benefit for the child
    • Pros for producers
  • Harm
  • Possible problems in the child
  • In which products can be found?

Modern parents refer to the composition of nutrition, which give their children, very carefully. And the word "maltodextrin" in the list of ingredients of baby food they can cause questions and concerns. Let's understand what kind of substance it is, and it's harmful for babies or benefits.

Chemical Composition

Maltodextrine is classified as carbohydrates, like glucose, lactose and other sugars. Is a close "relative" molasses. Represents starch from corn or rice( less often from wheat or potatoes), which is specially processed.

Appearance of maltodextrin

The chemical composition of this carbohydrate is similar to the composition of molasses or corn syrup. But, when compared with molasses, maltodextrin has a lower concentration of sugars, because it is treated differently. In its pure form, this carbohydrate

looks like white or cream powder with high hygroscopicity.

The taste is neutral or slightly sweet. Because it is used in combination with artificial sweeteners, many believe that it tastes sweet.

Benefit for a child

When you see maltodextrin in the product you buy for a child, you do not need to be scared at once and return the food to the shelf, because this ingredient has many useful properties.

Useful properties for baby:

  • Maltodextrin is easier to assimilate than starch digestion.
  • acts as a source of energy.
  • Like dietary fiber, it is resistant to digestion by gastric juice, therefore it freely passes through the stomach and improves gastrointestinal motility. However, with excessive use of maltodextrin adversely affects the microflora of the intestine, so they should not abuse it. In the baby food, its amount is balanced.

Pros for manufacturers

Reasons that food producers for children add maltodextrin to their products:

  • This substance increases the satiety of the product, replacing starch and sugar in it. It plays the role of thickener.
  • Easily dissolves without the formation of lumps.
  • Used for thickening food.
  • Thanks to its addition, the shelf life of the product is extended.
  • This substance is perfectly mixed with other components.
  • Compared with sugar, honey and other sweet substances, its sweetness is moderate.
  • Use it in production is simple and cheap.
Maltodextrin Maltodextrin made not from GMOs has many useful properties


Its content in baby food is negligible, which does not harm a healthy child.

  • If you compare maltodextrin and normal sugar, the glycemic index of this substance is much higher - it is from 105 to 136, which depends on the method of its production. This means that for children with diabetes, adding this carbohydrate to the diet is contraindicated. Some companies are working on maltodektrin heat treatment, exposure to acids and enzymes, saying that in their products, on the contrary, it lowers blood sugar levels. While these statements are not proved. Therefore, children-diabetics such products should be avoided.
  • Can be obtained from GMO products. On the consequences of receiving such power, see the video at the end of the article.
  • Studies have been conducted to prove that the use of in excess amount of can worsen intestinal microflora and make it more vulnerable to various infections.
  • With a little physical activity, the additive promotes rapid weight gain.
  • The substance poses a risk to children with corn allergies, when talking about corn maltodextrin.
The child drinks infant formula with maltodektrinom

If a baby has celiac disease, then it is not allowed to use maltodextrin from wheat. Very often this kind is added to baby food produced in Asian countries. Maltodextrin from potatoes is often added to the products of European countries, and Canadian and American food usually includes corn maltodextrin.

Possible problems in the child

Children may have such problems:

  • Excess weight.
  • Allergy.
  • Hypovitaminosis.
  • Flatulence and bloating.

If a child has any side effects caused by parents suspecting baby food, you should definitely go to the pediatrician. Determine that the culprit is maltodextrin, it is quite difficult.

The doctor examines the child If any of the above symptoms appear, you should show the baby to the doctor

. In which products can you meet?

In a baby food, this carbohydrate is found in mixtures, cereals and purees.

Maltodextrin can be seen in the list of ingredients of yogurt, bread, mayonnaise, chocolate, chips, sports nutrition, confectionery, ice cream, puddings, meat products, sausages, sauces, drinks and other products.

It is added to improve consistency, thickening, better solubility, loosening, shaping, absorbing moisture and resisting discoloration over time. This substance is also in demand in pharmaceuticals - it is added to dietary supplements and medicines.

It is more important that there are no GMOs in the baby food. For more information on the effects of receiving such power, see the following video.