Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index. Most place list it as 105, though one website said there are different forms of maltodextrin and they range from 85 to 105. Nonetheless, both numbers are high. Even sucrose has a lower GI, at 64. I realize that soylent itself will have a lower GI, since it includes fiber and oil, but still, a sucrose soylent would have a lower GI than a maltodextrin one. Sucrose is also cheaper.
The upside with carbs like sucrose and maltodextrin is that they don’t need to be cooked, soaked, sprouted or sour fermented to mitigate phytic acid and make them more digestible. But the downside with sucrose is it’s too sweet. Some sweetener in soylent isn’t too bad, but not in the quantities most of us are using maltodextrin.
So, I was looking for other carb sources that would have a lower glycemic and not as much sweetness. Brown Rice syrup looks good. It has a GI of 25 and is only half as sweet as sugar. Unfortunately, there was a report last year that brown rice syrup contains relatively high levels of arsenic, which would be a concern at the levels we’d be eating it at.
Barley malt extract also looks attractive. It’s also about half the sweetness of sucrose, and has a modest GI of around 42. It can be purchased as powders from beer-making suppliers, and in different flavors: amber, dark, pilsen, wheat. It is a bit more expensive, about twice the cost of maltodextrin per calorie. The Now Carbo Gain goes for $33.57 (shipping included) for 12 pounds at supplementwarehouse.com, which works out to 0.16 cents/calorie. 12 pounds of malt extract from labelpeelers.com, would set you back $40.06 (shipping included), which works out to about 0.3 cents per calorie. Thus, if you’re getting 500 calories/day from maltodextrin, that’d raise your cost 70 cents/day
Admittedly, I don’t know anything about the taste, and for all I know it still might be too sweet or have a strong aftertaste. Any other thoughts?