Maltodextrin from corn / allergies


Continuing the discussion from Any update on gluten-free Soylent?:

So, as someone with an allergy to corn…is the maltodextrin far enough removed from corn that I shouldn’t have a problem? There has to be some point at which “where it came from” becomes irrelevant, I just don’t know enough about the maltodextrin (or the allergy mechanism) to know where that is.


Unfortunately I think that’s something that can only be determined by testing it on yourself. Speaking as someone who has been “allergic to everything” for most of my life (though not to corn, fortunately) that’s just the way it has to be, more or less. :stuck_out_tongue:

For me peanuts are the big, life-threatening allergen, so anything even remotely derived from peanuts would be a major problem. But other things like soy (related to peanuts because they are both legumes) are much more minor, so I’m not worried about eating soy-based products like soy lecithin as long as there is no more than a trace amount of actual soy protein.

If your corn allergy is severe enough to induce anaphylaxis, be wary of maltodextrin. Otherwise, try it and you’ll probably find that it doesn’t affect you.


Worst case scenario, you get yours, find out it’s not going to work and make some money on eBay. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


It looks like it’s derived from corn, but is done via enzymes. I think (I am not a food/allergy scientist) that there won’t be any allergy-inducing compounds. I do know that Soy lecithin, although derived from soy, has no GMO or allergy-inducing proteins that are in the soy itself.


I am allergic to corn (or “sensitive”–no anaphylaxis, but within half an hour my digestive tract riots).

Been eating Soylent for about 75% of my intake for almost two weeks and no bad reaction (aside from some benign extra fartiness that’s pretty obviously from the fiber, same as if I eat two bowls of raisin bran).

Just one data point, and I haven’t eaten corn for many years so it’s possible my sensitivity has changed.


Thought I should post the results–on day 4 now and no problems whatsoever. Just having a bratwurst with corn syrup on the ingredients label was enough for me to notice a mood swing, and I’ve felt in a better mood than usual on Soylent.


I thought somewhere had listed that they were using Tapioca Maltodextrin, not Corn. I don’t know if this is still accurate or not.


They used tapioca maltodextrin in early trials, but switched to corn maltodextrin before they shipped any commercial product. Sourcing is more difficult and pricing is much higher for tapioca maltodextrin than corn.

Maltodextrin is made from starch… The starch is processed until it’s about 15% of the way from starch to sugar. So maltodextrin is between sugar and starch.

If you allergy is affected by cornstrarch, then it will be set off by a formula with corn maltodextrin - but if your allergy is to something else in the corn, something that is not in the pure cornstarch, you’ll probably have no problem.

Interestingly, people who have peanut allergy have no reaction from peanut oil, because peanut allergy is to a protein in the peanuts… HOWEVER, you can never be sure how “perfect” the peanut refining process is. If there’s a bad batch that isn’t pure peanut oil, you can have a serious, serious problem. It’s a conundrum.


This. There’s a big difference between theoretical content of proteins and such in processed ingredients, versus actual. :stuck_out_tongue: