Maltodextrin is a derivative of starch and is formed via its hydrolysis. It is usually derived from corn, although it can also be made from rice and potato. Maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate that is usually used in baby formula as a source of calories and as a thickener.

So parents, you are probably wonder if maltodextrin is safe, so let’s talk about it in more details.

It is very important to mention that maltodextrin can be used in baby formula in three ways:

  • As a main source of carbohydrate
  • As a supplemental source of carbohydrate
  • As a thickener

Babies need certain amount of carbohydrate in their diet to help them build healthy body and support brain and growth activity. Maltodextrin is not a sweet substance. It’s usually soft and tasteless. It balances the taste of lactose.

The large amount of maltodextrin is not recommended because baby cannot tolerate carbs from genetically modified sources (such maltodextrin is produced in United States).  

As a supplement source maltodextrin is considered safe. It consists of molecules with a small chain that are easy to digest. Such carbs help babies to be full longer. It also gives formula its smooth and creamy texture.

Maltodextrin used in European formulas is certified organic without GMO. In such formulas it is used in smaller quantities. That’s why European formulas are much preferred than formulas made in United States.

The main characteristic of maltodextrin is high solubility, easy and fast digestion and low sweetness. All this work perfect in infant formula. The FDA approves maltodextrin as a safe food additive. But if your baby has digestive problems or upset stomach, talk to pediatrician before using formula with maltodextrin.

Maltodexttrin is safe. It makes babies feel full longer and adds calories. But it can cause babies to feel bloated and fussy.

So, keep in mind that maltodextrin used in EU formulas (shop at do not contain chemicals from farming as it could be with American formulas.


Jessica Scott

This is so helpful. Thank you!

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