Maltodextrin: What is it and why is it in Baby Formula?

Maltodextrin is a plant carbohydrate derived from plants

It’s processed from starches from corn, potatoes, or rice. After the starch is cooked off, enzymes are used to extract the maltodextrin. It’s used as a sweetener and a thickener in baby formulas, even some organic formulas.

Even though it’s a highly processed food additive, it still appears in some European (and most American) organic food brands. That’s because the initial food product, the plants, are grown organically and the process doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, just enzymes to break down the starch molecules.

Some parents object to the fact that it’s a processed product, while others are concerned about maltodextrin's high-glycemic index. In large quantities, maltodextrin can cause a significant sugar spike.

In reality, there’s a minimal quantity of maltodextrin in a serving of baby formula. It’s also not the only sweetener in the formula. Most formulas contain lactose, the same sweetener that’s in breast milk. Both can cause a sugar spike in the bloodstream.

Maltodextrin, since it’s a short-chain carbohydrate, is easily digested, tends not to cause digestive distress, and is well processed by the body

There is a great deal of information on the internet about the toxicity of maltodextrin. Most of it is simply incorrect. Both the European FDA and the US FDA have approved it as a safe ingredient in the food.

Maltodextrin is a non-toxic and organic ingredient in some formulas we sell. There’s no evidence that it’s harmful, except a potential blood sugar spike. That’s why you’ll find it in our organic formulas and we feel, as the manufacturers do, that it’s safe for babies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 💭 What is maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate derived from starch, typically corn, rice, or potato starch. It is made by breaking down the starch through a process called hydrolysis. Maltodextrin consists of short chains of glucose molecules, which are easily digestible and provide a quick source of energy.

  1. 💭 Why is maltodextrin used in baby formulas?

Maltodextrin is commonly used in baby formulas as a source of carbohydrates. It is added to provide energy to infants and mimic the carbohydrate content of breast milk. Maltodextrin is easily digestible and helps meet the nutritional needs of growing babies.

  1. 💭 Is maltodextrin safe for babies?

Yes, maltodextrin is considered safe for consumption by infants. It is widely used in the food industry, including baby formulas, and has been approved by regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific concerns about your baby's diet.

  1. 💭 Does maltodextrin contain gluten?

The gluten content of maltodextrin depends on its source. Maltodextrin derived from corn or rice is typically gluten-free. However, maltodextrin sourced from wheat may contain traces of gluten unless it has been specifically processed to remove gluten. It's important to check the product label or contact the manufacturer to ensure the maltodextrin used is gluten-free if your baby has gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Author: Laura
👋 Hey,  I'm a proud mother of two wonderful children. I've been working at OBF24 for 6 years as a formula expert and am part of the customer support team. I love being able to help customers find the perfect formula for their little ones and provide support with any questions they may have. Drop me a message ›