By Vijayendran M*

Maltodextrin, also known as water-soluble dextrin or enzymatic dextrin is based on various types of starch as raw material, through the enzymatic hydrolysis process low-level control transformation, purification, drying formed. The control of hydrolysis of DE values below 20% of the product is referred to as maltodextrin. In India, maltodextrin is mostly manufactured from maize. Rice is also used as a source by some manufacturers.

Why are DE (Dextrose Equivalent) values important?

The DE value is not only the degree of hydrolysis but also an important indicator of product features to master. Understanding the maltodextrin DE value and product relationship between physical properties is conducive to the correct choice of application of maltodextrin products. DE values are different in India based on production and applications in comparison with other countries as indicated in the table below.

India Maltodextrin DE-Value                 


DE – Value

Low DE Maltodextrins

10 to 16

Medium/ Regular Maltodextrin

16 to 24

High/Dry glucose syrup

24 to 30

Other Countries Maltodextrin DE-Value


DE – Value

Low DE Maltodextrins

3 to 9

Medium Maltodextrin

9 to 16

Standard Maltodextrin

17 to 20

Dry glucose syrup

20 to 40

The demand for Low DE maltodextrin is increasing in the Indian market mainly in the spreads and supplements sectors.

Key Players in the Indian Market

The maltodextrin supply market in India is mainly contributed by domestic players. Maltodextrin is produced by Blue Ocean Biotech,Blue Kraft Agro, Cargill India, Gujarat Ambuja, Gulshan Poly, Roquette India, Sahyadri, ShreeGluco Biotech and Sukhjit Starch. The production split between hydrolysates by DE group is 60% in medium, 22% in standard, 18% in high/dry glucose and zero in low DE maltodextrin. Government support for local production of ingredients to boost ‘Make-in-India’ is expected to bring in positive changes in Indian food ingredients and production and reduce import dependence. Increased domestic demand is reflected in increased maltodextrin production volumes when compared with last year (2020).

Trade (Import & Export)

Low maltodextrin used in India is imported and comprises only 1% of total demand from China, USA, and others. Import of higher DE maltodextrin is not feasible, since the imported product is much more expensive than the locally available equivalent. Domestic demand is mostly filled by Indian producers. India exports 15% of its stranded (DE 16 – 26) production.


There is no special emphasis regarding the use of maltodextrin in Indian food regulations. Maltodextrin usage is allowed in nutraceuticals, dairy, bakery products, snacks, and the flavor industry.

End-use Sectors

F1rst, in its study, has focused on the demand for maltodextrin ingredients in various sectors, namely, dairy (includes ice cream), confectionery, beverages, infant food, instant noodles, soups/sauces/dressings, pharmaceutical and supplements and others (encapsulation, dry seasonings, food service, bakery etc.).

Maltodextrin is gaining traction in the food and beverage (F&B) industry. It is extensively used as a thickener, stabiliser, and filling agent. The imported low DE maltodextrin, only 1% is used in pharmaceutical and supplement preparations. Medium maltodextrin accounts for about 75% of the total usage in soups, sauce, baby food, seasonings beverage mix, and other food applications and the remaining 24% of standard maltodextrin & dry glucose syrups find application in bakery, thickeners, custard, fat-based fillings, and related products and carrier applications for flavors/food ingredients.

Maltodextrin act as a flavoring, bodying, drying and stabilising agent in chocolate drinks, flavor powders and coffee powders. In sports drinks as a soluble carbohydrate source, energy – slow release. In Ice cream, maltodextrin is used as a sweetening and bulking agent. In puddings soups and frozen desserts as a bulking agent. It acts as a sweetening agent in teas, coffee and powdered soft drinks. Maltodextrin is the simplest form of sugar. It has a soft mouthfeel and is easily digested so it is used in baby foods, feed supplements, geriatric food. Maltodextrin provides water retention, crystallisation, and consistency to bakery products. Instant mixes, puddings, spices maltodextrin used as a bulking agents and carriers. In soups and snacks as a fat replacer and flavor enhancer. In colours, gums, fat-filled milk powder, manufacturing of prebiotics/probiotics, fruit powders maltodextrin is used as a spray drying aid. In confectionery as a coating and texturising agent; in infant foods and flavors as a carrier, carbohydrate source. In meat analogs, maltodextrin acts as a binding agent, fat replacer and film formers; in sauce and spreads as an emulsifier, stabiliser.

Retail Analysis


Maltodextrin is used as a thickener, stabiliser, and filling agent for manufacturing various products. The growing demand for packaged goods, bakery items, and infant feeds necessitate increased maltodextrin manufacturing. The growing use of maltodextrin in the pharmaceutical industry is a market opportunity. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used as a binding agent to produce medicines. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors expect to see good growth in the coming years after COVID-19 (due to health & wellness acting as a key driver). This will boost maltodextrin (low & medium DE) demand in these sectors. In recent years low, DE maltodextrin (Imported DE 3-9) increased in the demand in sectors like spreads and supplements

There has been a spike in demand for snacks which included biscuits and cookies in the Indian market by around 10 to 15% during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic which has increased demand for maltodextrin and milk solids (10% maltodextrin). Infant food formula utilises a substantial amount of maltodextrin as it is easily digestible by kids. The growth forecast for maltodextrin will be 8-10% CAGR during 2022-2027

F1rst is producing this study on maltodextrin

We are capturing the supply-demand (2021-2026) scenario with key details on recent trends, how the market changed in the last few years in terms of availability, applications, competitive ingredients, challenges, opportunities, and other details. This study will give you a historical picture in terms of the demand for maltodextrin by grades in India and how this end sector will shape in the near future because of ongoing health trends.  COVID-19 has paved a new way for how we look at these ingredients.

*He is an Associate Project Manager at F1rst with a postgraduate in Bio-Chemical Technology (BCT). For more information about this study, you can reach out to