Dried glucose syrups or maltodextrins (dried starch hydrolysates)

Glucose syrups can be spray dried to produce a soluble white amorphous powder which can be a more convenient form to handle than a thick syrup. In European convention up to 20 DE glucose syrups are referred to as maltodextrins and above 20 DE as glucose syrup solids or dried glucose syrup, which is obviously only an arbitrary distinction.

The carbohydrate spectrum of these products is obviously identical to the parent syrup and, like the parent syrups, the functional properties are dependent on the dextrose equivalent. For example, lower DE maltodextrins are less sweet, less hygroscopic and less likely to form colour in the browning reaction.

A 20 DE maltodextrin is a food ingredient with an unusual combination of properties; it is a fully soluble carbohydrate of low bulk density and has virtually no sweetness. Spray dried glucose syrups offer the functional properties of liquid glucose syrup coupled with the convenience of being in a low-moisture powder form.

1Sweetness controller
2Viscosity controller
3Diluent – filler
4Carrier for oils/fats
5Crystallization inhibitor
6Convenient handling/mixing
7Partial replacer for skimmed milk powder, lactose, and whey powder
Table 1. Uses of spray dried products

Maltodextrins and spray dried glucose syrups find applications in a wide range of processes and convenience foods, principally as fillers/carriers and sweetness reducer (Table 1). To some extent the products are interchangeable and the ultimate choice depends upon the emphasis desired on specific functional properties. They are ideally suited for blending into powdered formulations and serve the following purposes. As fillers/carriers, they can:

  1. reduce loss of volume in contents on storage or in transit;
  2. absorb fats and oils to retain free-flowing properties;
  3. aid dispersion during makeup;
  4. standardize the quality of products prepared from variable natural sources (spice mixes, flavors);
  5. dilute concentrated or expensive ingredients (flavors, flavor enhancers);
  6. save costs by partial replacement of lactose and milk powder in certain applications, such as in the manufacture of tablets.

Many products can be made more acceptable by lowering their level of sweetness. In most cases, it is essential to achieve this without reducing the total solids content. Reformulating, using low conversion hydrolysates, achieves this reduction without greatly affecting a number of important properties. These include increased chemical reducing power which produces faster color and flavor compounds in the Maillard browning reaction when heated in the presence of an amino compound.

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