What are maltodextrin benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are maltodextrin pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers.
Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on maltodextrin benefits and side effects.
You are going to learn all about maltodextrin benefits and side effects. This will include maltodextrin benefits for your health and potential risks, maltodextrin water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if maltodextrin is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more.
After learning if maltodextrin is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.
This post is all about maltodextrin benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.
Top Maltodextrin Benefits And Side Effects
Maltodextrin benefits may include:
- providing energy rapidly
- gain weight
- gain muscle
Maltodextrin side effects (when consumed in large amounts) may include:
- feeling hungry more often
- flatulence, gas
- possible asthma
- difficulty breathing
- high cholesterol
- type 2 diabetes
- chronic inflammatory conditions
- gut problems
- intestine damage
- inflammatory bowel diseases
- spikes in blood sugar
- weight gain
- possible rash or skin irritation
Water footprint: low, it is possible to make maltodextrin from any starchy food, including corn, potato, wheat, tapioca, or rice, all of which have a relatively low water footprint
Carbon footprint: low, it is possible to make maltodextrin from any starchy food, including corn, potato, wheat, tapioca, or rice, all of which have a relatively low carbon footprint
Destruction: low, no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.
Killed: none, maltodextrin production does not require any animals to be killed
Harmed: none, maltodextrin production does not require any animals to be used
Animals indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from maltodextrin production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat
- Harmful to wildlife and ecosystems unless organic
Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible
Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation
Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits
- May have labor issues
Where does most maltodextrin come from?
In Europe maltodextrin is primarily made from wheat and in the United States corn. China is the world’s leading wheat producer followed by India, Russia, the United States, France, Australia, Canada, Pakistan, Ukraine and Germany. The world’s leading producer of corn is the USA followed by China, Brazil, India, Argentina, Ukraine, Mexico and Indonesia. Polenta originated in Northern Italy.
Is maltodextrin nutritious?
Maltodextrin is high on the glycemic index (GI).
maltodextrin may contain gluten.
Is maltodextrin gluten free? Possibly. Maltodextrin may contain gluten. Maltodextrin is a food additive made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat, therefore making possibly glutinous.
While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…
Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:
- recurring abdominal pain
- chronic diarrhea
- numbness in hands and feet
- chronic fatigue
- joint pain
- unexplained infertility
- low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.
Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List
maltodextrin may be a common food allergen: wheat.
Is maltodextrin a common food allergen? Possibly. Maltodextrin may contain a common food allergen: wheat. Many people may experience allergic reactions to maltodextrin.
A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:
- crustacean shellfish
- tree nuts
These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.
Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.
Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List
maltodextrin has a low water footprint.
Does maltodextrin have a high or low water footprint? Maltodextrin has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods. It’s possible to make maltodextrin from any starchy food, including corn, potato, wheat, tapioca, or rice, all of which have a relatively low water footprint.
Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!
We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake….quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.
How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?
We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.
Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
maltodextrin has a low carbon footprint.
Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.
When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…
- farm equipment
- animal feed production
- hothouses (greenhouses)
- food processing
- package waste and more
There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.
But that’s not all!
It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:
- shopping locally reduces transportation emissions
- food without packaging reduces waste as well as the carbon footprint
- refrigerated and frozen foods increase carbon emissions
- seasonal foods reduce carbon emissions from hothouses (greenhouses)
- growing plant-based foods at home is the most environmentally sustainable method with zero carbon footprint
Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List
maltodextrin is sustainable.
Overall, is maltodextrin eco friendly? Is maltodextrin sustainable?
Maltodextrin production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.
A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.
Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.
A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.
Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’
maltodextrin is vegan.
Is maltodextrin vegan? Yes, maltodextrin is vegan. Maltodextrin is made from vegetable starch and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food.
According to Sentient Media, “more than 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every day. Including wild-caught and farmed fishes, we get a total closer to 3 billion animals killed daily.”
Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.
Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.
Go vegan for animals!
It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.
Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List
maltodextrin may or may not have labor issues and human rights concerns.
Is maltodextrin a product with labor concerns?
At this time there have been no major concerns with maltodextrin production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!
It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.
Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized.
Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death!
Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation.
Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards.
We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.
Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade‘
This post was all about dextrin benefits and side effects.
Dextrin – Agricultural Marketing Service – USDA