Is Your Supplement Containing Maltodextrin? Find Out With This Simple Test!

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 02/28/2024

Is Your Supplement Containing Maltodextrin? Find Out With This Simple Test!

Let's discard the curtain on something lurking in your supplements: maltodextrin. This sneaky ingredient hides more often than you'd think, slipping into products under the radar.

Today, we're diving deep to uncover its sources—corn, wheat, rice, and even potato—and why it's a go-to for manufacturers aiming to bulk up their products or tweak textures.

We'll also shed light on how this carb dodges being labeled as sugar and can sometimes not be listed at all. Understanding maltodextrin's high glycemic index is crucial for those keeping an eye on blood sugar levels or sticking to a keto diet.

But don't worry; by the end of this read, you'll know how to spot hidden maltodextrin with simple tests and smart label reading tips.

Additionally, we're sharing knowledge on discovering substitutes that align with your wellness objectives while ensuring the integrity of your supplements remains intact.

Unveiling Maltodextrin in Supplements

Sources of Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin sneaks into supplements from a few usual suspects: corn, wheat, rice, and potato. This chameleon-like ingredient adapts to its source but always keeps its core function intact.

Why do these sources matter? Because they directly impact folks with allergies or sensitivities. Knowing the origin can be a game-changer for your health.

Why is Maltodextrin Used?

In the world of supplements, maltodextrin wears many hats. It's not just there to bulk up your powder; it plays a crucial role as a carrier for flavorings, making that protein shake taste less like chalk and more like chocolate milk.

Besides flavor, it works wonders on texture, too. Without it, some supplements might feel like you're chewing on sandpaper. So next time you enjoy a smooth shake, remember maltodextrin's behind-the-scenes magic act.

The Hidden Nature of Maltodextrin

Container of pure maltodextrin

Maltodextrin as a Carbohydrate

Ever wonder why some foods that taste sweet don't list sugar in their ingredients? The answer might be maltodextrin, a carbohydrate derived from natural sources like corn or wheat.

Maltodextrin, this crafty component, skirts around the usual sugar classification on the packaging, thus slipping through unnoticed.

Manufacturers are drawn to maltodextrin for its affordability and multifunctionality, enabling them to enhance the product's feel or longevity while sidestepping the inclusion of "sugar" on their items' ingredient rosters.

But here's where things get tricky: because it’s not listed as sugar, consumers aiming for low-sugar diets might unknowingly consume it.

When Maltodextrin Goes Unlisted

Regulatory loopholes play a significant role in concealing maltodextrin within supplements and food products.

In specific scenarios, such as when used in small quantities for specific purposes beyond sweetening, maltodextrin doesn’t have to be explicitly named on product labels.

This means you could consume more carbohydrates than you thought—disrupting dietary plans like keto without realizing it. This lack of transparency can pose challenges for those vigilant about their carb intake due to health reasons or diet preferences.

The Impact of Maltodextrin on Health

Maltodextrin's Glycemic Index

Maltodextrin packs a punch in the glycemic index arena, soaring higher than table sugar. This means when you ingest maltodextrin, your blood sugar levels can skyrocket.

Imagine this as pressing the gas pedal down in your car; it’s a quick surge that isn’t great for fuel efficiency—or, in this case, your body’s metabolism.

For those managing diabetes or watching their blood glucose levels closely, understanding maltodextrin's high glycemic impact is crucial. This sneaky ingredient might be the reason behind those sudden surges you didn't see coming.

Keto Diets and Maltodextrin

If you're navigating the keto landscape, maltodextrin is like an unwelcome guest at a party—it just doesn't fit with low-carb diets. Its presence can interrupt ketosis.

The metabolic state is where fat provides most of the fuel for your body because its sneaky inclusion might bump up carb intake unknowingly.

Detecting Maltodextrin in Your Supplements

The Iodine Test for Starches

Have you ever wondered if your supplements are secretly sneaking in some maltodextrin? Well, there's a nifty trick to catch them red-handed: the iodine test. A few iodine drops in this straightforward home test reveal the sneaky starches within your supplements.

To start, dissolve a small amount of your supplement in water. Next, add a couple of drops of iodine solution. If maltodextrin or other starch is present, the solution turns brownish-red to blue-black. It’s like playing detective but without needing a magnifying glass.

This method is quick and incredibly easy to do right on your kitchen counter. So, next time you're curious about what's really in your supplements, remember this little trick and get testing.

Navigating Supplements Without Maltodextrin

Reading Labels with a Critical Eye

Peeking behind the curtain of supplement labels reveals more than just nutritional values. It's like playing detective, where maltodextrin often hides under aliases such as 'corn syrup solids' or simply 'starch.' The trick?

Scrutinize every ingredient. If you spot names that sound like they belong in a chemistry lab rather than your food, question them.

Beyond looking for prominent mentions of maltodextrin, be wary of its silent presence in flavors or fillers. These are common hiding spots because manufacturers aren't required to list every component of these mixtures.

Seeking Alternatives to Common Sources

To dodge maltodextrin, one must gravitate towards labels that value clear communication and ingredients derived directly from nature. Look for companies that boast about using natural sources and check out online forums where health enthusiasts share their findings.

Choosing wisely keeps your diet on track and champions higher standards in the industry by selecting goods that value integrity and excellence over economizing measures.

The Economics Behind Hidden Maltodextrin

carb cravings

Cost-Effectiveness for Companies

Maltodextrin is like the Swiss Army knife of food additives—cheap, versatile, and almost invisible on a label. Manufacturers love it because it's an economic no-brainer.

Sourced from cost-effective staples like corn and rice, this carb's production expenses drop when pitted against alternative bulking agents.

But why does this matter? In the competitive world of supplements, where margins are king, cutting costs without scaring away consumers is akin to finding gold.

Using maltodextrin allows companies to bulk up their products inexpensively while maintaining a clean-looking ingredients list—a marketer’s dream come true.

Adopting this approach elevates profit margins and simultaneously holds consumer costs low, even though purchasers may be unaware they receive more bulk than actual benefit in their preferred health enhancers.

It's a win-win situation for manufacturers that navigate consumer perception with cost-saving prowess.


So, you've dived deep into the world of hidden maltodextrin in supplements. Now, let's sum it up.

You've discovered how this crafty component, originating from sources like corn, wheat, rice, and spuds, quietly sneaks into our supplements.

And why? Because it bulks up products and tweaks textures without a hefty price tag.

You can now spot it through bright label reading or a simple iodine test at home.

Remember: Keeping an eye on your health means knowing what goes into your body.

Maltodextrin might dodge being listed as sugar, but its high glycemic index is something to watch for those on keto diets or monitoring blood sugar levels.

In the end, armed with knowledge and practical tips, navigating supplements without unwanted additives just got easier.

Let this guide be your compass in choosing healthier options that align with your wellness goals.

Supporting Data

Healthy Keto Guide for Beginner

FREE Keto Diet Plan