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What is the relation between maltodextrin and gluten?

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Quick Answer

Both maltodextrin and gluten can have wheat as a source, which is how the two relate to each other. While gluten is an allergenic food, maltodextrin is not, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

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Full Answer

Public concern has risen about the use of maltodextrin in gluten-free diets. Both maltodextrin and gluten can have wheat as a source, and wheat is an allergen avoided by those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, as it can trigger an autoimmune response. However, maltodextrin is not an allergenic food. Due to the processing that wheat starch undergoes to turn it into maltodextrin powder, the final product is wheat-free, asserts the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. In Europe, the European Food Safety Authority permanently exempts maltodextrin from allergen food labeling.

Maltodextrin, a carbohydrate, is a food additive derived from any starch. It functions as a thickener or filler, according to Healthline, and can even be a source of fiber, notes WebMD. Corn is the most common source of maltodextrin in the United States, while wheat is a common source in Europe, reports Wikipedia. Gluten, a protein, occurs in wheat, as well as rye and barley; it helps dough retain its shape and also contributes to the texture of baked goods.

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