Maltodextrin is an ingredient processed from plant starch. It’s sometimes used to sweeten products but can also be used in functional ways, such as to prevent caking of a powdered ingredient.

Maltodextrin is listed on the nutritional labels of some of the meal starters not because it’s being used as a flavoring ingredient, but because it is used functionally in the production process. Specifically, it’s used to prevent caking of the lime juice, soy sauce, and coconut milk powders to facilitate flow of these powders in the production process. As such, it’s only present in trace amounts in these powders, which themselves are only fractions of larger recipes.

Maltodextrin is often used as a flavoring ingredient in higher quantities in many products in the food industry. For example, it’s used as a sweetener and carbohydrate source in sports drinks. In these instances, maltodextrin can cause a glucose spike, and like any processed ingredient, it’s not one that we would advocate regularly using at these higher levels. However, as a trace ingredient used to prevent caking of a powder used in a much larger recipe, it has no material health effect.

A statement from our senior science advisor, Dr. T. Colin Campbell

When speaking of whole, plant-based foods, we too often get lost in the weeds. We make pronouncements about theoretical health effects of substances that are mostly based on research studies of quantities much higher than those traditionally used. Unless a person has an allergy, which can happen with almost any food or substance, there should be no concern for such detailed effects, especially when consuming plant parts with all of its nutrients intact. We need to stay focused on the amazing health effects provided by whole foods that are plant-based.