What is dextrin?

Welcome, dear reader! I see you’re on a quest for knowledge about the magical substance that is dextrin. Well, look no further because I have got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore everything there is to know about dextrin and more.

Understanding The Basics of Dextrin

Before delving into the depths of what exactly makes up dextrin, let’s start with the basics. Dextrins are complex carbohydrates derived from starches such as corn, rice or potatoes. They’re made by breaking down large molecules into smaller ones through hydrolysis- which might sound like something straight out of Breaking Bad but don’t worry it’s not illegal.

Once hydrolyzed (aka chopped), they become these soluble glucose polymers which can be used in various industries including food processing and paper manufacturing. You heard me right – they’re even found in your darn paper!

Why Do We Use It Tho?

Now that you have an idea of their origins, let’s dive deeper into why we use them by exploring ways they’ve been implemented throughout history – from ancient China to modern times.

Ancient Chinese Wisdom

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) douzhi, a fermented drink made from mung beans often contains maltod extrin(>70% digested maltose). Douzhi has been valued for its restorative properties on digestive health among other things; hence its role in TCM as well as many household ferments around Asia1.

Modern Love For Maltod Extrins

But it doesn’t stop at fermented drinks – having multiple characteristics such as water binding properties along with thermoplasticity make these bad boys appealing replacements for sugar syrups and fats especially gluten-free baked goods.[^2]

Thanks to being highly digestible unlike other complex carbohydrates, they’re commonly found in protein powder supplements ready to be absorbed by your muscles.

Step aside creatine and hello post-workout shake with maltodextrin![^3]

Range of Uses

With applications ranging from food processing to paper manufacturing – these babies pop up everywhere. Here are a few more notable places you can find them:

  • Adhesives for various industries
  • Food packaging – aiding avoiding moisture absorption
  • Ink – thins it down baby!
  • Cosmetics & Personal hygiene products[^4]

Types And Applications Of Dextrin

Now let’s get technical with another fascinating aspect – the types and variations of dextrin available out there!

Amylodes Extrins (The Alpha And Omega)

Made from starches such as potatoes or corn, these extrins also go by sticky nicknames like British Gum! These guys contain alpha bonds which level-up their adhesive properties making them great for things like glue and wallpaper paste [^5]. Moreover, due to its high solubility amylopectin extrins contribute their emulsifying capabilities majorly seen in whipping cream production processes giving us this oh-so-satisfying finished product.[^6]

Highly Branched Cyclical Dextrin?

Yes sirree,the HBCD is gaining popularity among athletes thanks to its blood sugar regressive quality suitable for endurance training. The fancy jargon means that it’s small globules allow for quick digestion slowing the drop of insulin release helping individuals achieve improved performance during long stints exercising without feeling burnt out halfway through sucking air loudly! no shade intended .[^7]

Health Benefits

On top of all these crazy practical uses one might wonder “what gives…are there any health benefits?” You betcha!

As previously discussed earlier on most types relatively have low Glycemic Index scores meaning that they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar as they’re absorbed slowly; meaning sustained energy throughout the day, better moods and a whole host of other benefits. Fun fact about beta cydextrins – possessing this rare ability to lock onto fats making them useful in regulating fat intake!

Dextrin : An unsung hero

In conclusion, dextrin is a versatile rockstar who rarely gets its due. From ancient Chinese medicine to modern-day supplements – it’s amazing how something so simple can make such an impact across various industries.

So metimes we overlook the incredible value present within all that surrounds us merely because unawareness or lack of knowing but with this article hopefully you’ve gained more insight into why Dextrin matters!


  1. HoPS., 2002. ” Chin Med J (Engl). “. Douzhi: A traditional fermented food for health promotion
    [^2]. Lefsih,K et al.(2014) ”Thermo-mechanical behaviour and physico-chemical properties of maltodextrines” Food Hydrocolloids.
    [^3] . Rankin,JW et.al(1997)” Maltod Extrins”. In:Liquid Chromatography Detectors Amsterdam.
    [^4] Commission regulation(EU )No 231/2012 (2012)
    [ ^5]. Schepetina,N.A(1967). No title A Nauk,Ser Khim.
    [6 ]. Swager,E.M et al.(2009)” Alpha-cyclod extrins-protein interactions” Anal Biochem”.
    [^7]. Tajima,N(2020) “Effect of highly branched cyclic dextein glycemic control during endurance exercise” Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise 

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