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Using MALTRIN® for Calorie Reduction

It is becoming a common headline in the news: American’s waistlines keep growing! Nearly two-thirds of Americans are classified as overweight or obese and even more disturbing is the rise of childhood obesity which has industry, government and media looking for answers. While weight loss is a complex issue, reducing calories as a way to lose excess pounds goes unchallenged.

One way for food manufacturers to cut calories is to reduce the amount of fat in formulations. Fat is calorie dense; it contains 9 kcal per gram, whereas carbohydrates such as maltodextrin only have 4 kcal per gram. However, fat has many critical functions in food, such as providing flavor, creamy texture and tenderizing. One ingredient that can exhibit similar functionality is MALTRIN® maltodextrins, specifically MALTRIN® M100 and M040.

The primary benefit of using MALTRIN® is its fat mimetic qualities. Fat provides body and a creamy mouthfeel. Solutions of MALTRIN® also exhibit these characteristics; making MALTRIN® maltodextrins an alternative to fat in applications such as dressings, spreads, frozen desserts, sauces and baked goods.

In cake applications, oils and shortenings function to provide tenderness, richness and flavor. MALTRIN® M100 maltodextrin can aid in some of these functions and has been used to replace 100% of shortening in cakes. This equates to a 23% reduction in calories in the finished baked item. A cake that normally has 260 kcal per serving can be reduced to 200 kcal.

The potential for calorie reduction is even greater for dressings and spreads. In these applications solutions of water and 25% MALTRIN® are used. For example, one gram of a 25% maltodextrin solution contains 1 kcal. Compare this to the normal 9 kcal per gram from fat and it’s simple to see how easily calories can be reduced!

GPC’s Technical Service group looks forward to the challenge of helping food companies formulate for today’s consumer. For more information and trial formulas please contact Technical Service.

MALTRIN® is a registered trademark of Grain Processing Corporation.