Is Rice Maltodextrin Good for Me?

Published on Jun 11th, 2024

Is Rice Maltodextrin Good for Me?

Consumers may usually ask, "What exactly is maltodextrin?" after seeing the ingredient listed on several different items. This component appears in various foods and beverages. You might wonder what it is, why it's used in so many other things, and whether you should be concerned because the name sounds technical and unfamiliar.

What Is Maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate product made of glucose-maltose polymer chains, typically consisting of less than twenty different glucose units per maltodextrin molecule. Even though it is just a polysaccharide, maltodextrin can interact with taste receptors, providing certain foods and drinks with a sweet note. Notably, the sweetness level and the size/chain length of the maltodextrin molecule bear an inverse correlation: shorter chains give a sweet taste sensation.

Maltodextrine is theoretically analogous to starch fragmentation in the gastrointestinal tract in humans. Digestive enzymes convert starch to smaller fragments resembling maltodextrin. This process is as artificial as maltodextrin, formed by splitting starch and creating these shorter glucose chains through enzyme activity.

 It is important to note that while maltodextrin can be produced from any starch, corn starch is the most commonly used due to its availability and cost. However, it can also be prepared with other forms of starch, such as wheat, rice, or potatoes.

 This article introduces rice maltodextrin, a maltodextrin derived from rice starch. We will examine the manufacturing process, its benefits, and problems associated with its consumption. Nonetheless, we aim to eliminate any uncertainty that one may have concerning this ingredient and give precise information about it to assist anyone who wants to have a proper diet.

What Is Rice Maltodextrin?

Rice starch originates from rice maltodextrin, a carbohydrate in the family of maltose sugars. Maltodextrin is an outcome of rice starch, which is broken into smaller chains commonly known as glucose through a process called hydrolysis. White powdery substance soluble in water with a smooth texture and blander taste. It is an odorless, white, and hygroscopic powder that dissolves in water without leaving any flavor. It is used in concentrated liquid foods and food preparations for athletes and bodybuilders due to its rich source of readily digestible carbohydrates and as a thickening, stabilizing, or filling substance in manufacturing food products.

Is Rice Maltodextrin Good for me?

Your health goals, general dietary habits, and any underlying medical concerns are just a few variables that will determine if rice maltodextrin is good for you. Knowing its effects requires carefully examining your unique lifestyle and medical condition. Here are some benefits of Rice maltodextrin:

Fast Energy Source

Rice maltodextrin is a type of carbohydrate, and therefore, it provides instant energy in the form of powder. Due to this, it is most suitable before or during physical exercises, especially for athletes or anyone who needs a quick boost of energy for some activity.

Support Digestion

Rice maltodextrin is made from rice. Since it is not highly complex, it is easy to digest and can be easily absorbed by the body, making it favorable to people with digestive problems. It is not as likely to elicit gastrointestinal distress as some other types of carbohydrates.

Allergen Friendly

Rice maltodextrin is not likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to other types of maltodextrin from grains like corn and wheat. This makes it a perfect option for people with other grain allergies or others with special requirements.

Nutritional Benefits

Rice maltodextrins are often used in clinical enteral and parenteral nutrition, usually in conjunction with proteins, to maintain patients before major surgeries. This strategy is beneficial for preoperative food and beverages, providing a workable substitute for the customary preoperative fasting regimen, especially for patients undergoing major surgeries like those for gastrointestinal cancers.

To illustrate, a disparity of more than two to one is evident in patients about to undergo gastrointestinal surgery, according to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine. These patients were split into two groups: The first group fasted as recommended, while the second group was allowed preoperative drinks that contained 11% proteins, 70% rice maltodextrin, and 19% sucrose. In particular, the patients who had the drinks before surgery also showed a 50% reduction in the time they were hospitalized after the surgery compared to those who were fasting. Those patients also had less inflammation post-surgery, which shows that this diet reduced surgery and recovery outcomes. 

Studies from their trials stressed the importance of rice maltodextrin as a vital component of the preoperative diet. Consuming preoperative drinks with maltodextrin and proteins can contribute to diminished inflammation in postsurgical periods, increased insulin sensitivity, and decreased hospitalization time. It should be noted that this modern approach to preoperative preparation differs from traditional fasting in several ways and has several advantages that improve surgical results and hasten patient recovery.

Oral Health

The common issues related to the teeth are likely to arise from constant exposure to sugar products. Sugary items like juices and soft drinks are also acidic in nature and can worsen mouth-breathing and increase the chance of tooth decay.

The consumption of “old polysaccharides such as sucrose and fructose-glucose syrups has been steadily replaced with “new ones” such as rice maltodextrin and glucose syrups in products such as soft drinks within the last ten years. It was discovered that rice maltodextrin had the most negligible impact on mouth acidity compared with sucrose. This change has been attributed to people’s focus on sugar's adverse effects on oral health.

Rice Maltodextrins in Food Items

Rice maltodextrins are made through partial hydrolysis of rice starch and are popular food ingredients because of their white, free-flowing, and easily compacted characteristics.

 Tremendous changes have happened over the past twenty years since the development of sciences and technologies related to the usage of rice maltodextrin in food and beverage products. Technological functionality and convenience make rice maltodextrin a versatile ingredient in the culinary industry.

Baked Items

Rice maltodextrins are helpful in manufacturing products such as non-fat dry milk, hot sauce, and confectionery. For instance, Rice maltodextrin can reduce the fat content in baked goods without affecting the soft, moist structure. Thus, manufacturing techniques make it possible to create baked products with less energy and, simultaneously, with the necessary density, which would be interesting for the health-conscious consumer.

Dairy Products

Rice maltodextrin is applied to the dairy industry to promote yogurt's solidity and creamy feel. Help develop a better quality product and longer shelf life due to the role of contributing towards the development of a smoother texture, not allowing the whey to separate. Moreover, rice maltodextrin can reduce the fat content of yogurt while retaining its thick and smooth mouthfeel; this is advantageous for reduced-fat yogurt to allow health-conscious consumers to enjoy a pleasant mouthfeel in reduced-fat versions.


Rice maltodextrins also enhance beverage flavors. They act as binding agents to achieve the right physical state or viscosity. This is important because rice maltodextrin is also used to provide a simple and easily absorbed source of carbohydrates in sports drinks and nutrition supplements, which replenish energy levels without increasing blood glucose levels.

Who Can Use Rice Maltodextrin?

Rice maltodextrin can be used by anyone, such as obese people who are struggling to lose their extra weight, athletes who require energy during rigorous physical activity, and vegetarians who are in search of quality food to take. This product is very versatile and is used by a lot of people. Rice maltodextrin is obtained by breaking down starch with the help of enzymes. Here are some examples of who and why rice maltodextrin can be beneficial:


Lactose is secretly a vital energy source in the early stages of human growth, such as in infancy, where breast milk is most appropriate. Some infants, however, cannot digest lactose easily due to low lactase production. This drawback may be a massive energy deficit through osmotic diarrhea caused by malabsorption.

In such circumstances, rice maltodextrin should replace lactose by providing energy. Rice maltodextrin is not absorbed in the small intestine like glucose; thus, it does not increase the osmotic load and is not associated with intestine distension. This makes rice maltodextrin a favorable option to guarantee that infants are supplied with adequate calories to meet their energy needs while at the same time not causing harm from lactose intolerance.


Rice maltodextrin is an easy–to–absorb, flowing energy provider that is commonly found in the markets and consumed by athletes or people who need a lot of energy for some kind of sports activity.

Rice maltodextrin assists in replenishing glycogen stores rapidly in muscles due to high absorption, helping users gain a boost of energy while and after exercising. Rice maltodextrin is one of those ingredients used in formulating sports drinks to reduce osmolality instead of sucrose or glucose. This is important because increased osmolality levels result in gastrointestinal discomforts and slow gastric problems, which are common issues that hinder performance during endurance events.

Individuals with Gut Issues

Some people need to consume more complex carbs, and one of the best choices is rice maltodextrin. It helps with digestion and regulates bowel movements.

Exceptions to the use of Rice Maltodextrin

Consumption should, however, be limited by diabetic patients, individuals with gluten sensitivity, and persons who are consciously reducing their weight because this product contains rice maltodextrin and has a high glycemic index. Maltodextrin rice is a carbohydrate with a high glycemic index, raising blood sugar levels and increasing insulin levels rapidly.


Rice maltodextrin is helpful in several forms. For example, athletes who need the energy boost to rush in a relatively short time. Nevertheless, it can be supplemented with other foods that are low in calories and energy but rich in nutrients and consumed in moderate quantities by most individuals. Like with any food ingredient, it is essential to take some time to reflect on your current state of health and the requirements you have for sustaining proper nutrition. Getting a medicinal practitioner's or a nutritionist’s opinion is always warranted if one has medical ailments or dietary restrictions.

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