What is Polydextrose (E1200) in Food: a Soluble Fiber (not Keto) with Low Glycemic Index

What is Polydextrose | Health benefits  | Uses |  Safety | Side Effects | FAQs

Polydextrose, a soluble fiber, primarily used as a low-calorie bulking agent and texturizer instead of a sweetener to increase fiber content and to replace sugar & fat in foods. The European food additive number for it is E1200.

What is Polydextrose?

It is used to provide bulk in foods to reduce the calorie intake due to its low digestible energy value. It has a slightly tart taste and is not used as a sweetener although it is made by glucose polycondensation. Commonly used as a replacement for sugar, starch, and fat in foods like baked food and ice cream.

Let’s dive to the navigation to know more:

Definition 

Randomly bonded glucose polymers with some sorbitol end-groups, and with citric acid or phosphoric acid residues attached to the polymers by mono or diester bonds.

It is obtained by melting and condensation of the ingredients and consist of approximately 90 parts D-glucose, 10 parts sorbitol and 1 part citric acid and/or 0,1 part phosphoric acid.

The 1,6-glucosidic linkage predominates in the polymers but other linkages are present. (1)

Is it a Sugar?

No, it is not a sugar although it is made from glucose.

Is it a Sugar alcohol?

No, it is a soluble fiber rather than a sugar alcohol although a little amount of sorbitol is in it.

Is it an artificial sweetener?

No, polydextrose is not used as a sweetener. Plus, artificial sweeteners commonly refers to the high-intensity sweeteners, such as sucralose, neotame, acesulfame k, aspartame and saccharin.

Is it keto?

No, a ketogenic diet means a low carb diet, and the calories mostly (90%) intake from fat. Polysorbate is a carbohydrate and used to replace fat, so it is not keto friendly.

What is its Glycemic Index?

Around 7, so it is suitable for diabetics. And the combined use of polydextrose with glucose can significantly lower the glycemic index compared with the only use of glucose. (2)

How Much the Calorie?

Different with insoluble fiber, polydextrose generates calories after the consumption. Per Health Canada information, its calorie Value is 1 kcal/g, (3) ¼ that of table sugar.

What is it Made from? 

It is produced by the polycondensation of the three naturally occurring ingredients derived from corn: glucose, sorbitol and citric acid under vacuum at high temperatures.

It may be neutralised with any food grade base and/or decolourised and deionised for further purification.

It may also be partially hydrogenated with Raney nickel catalyst to reduce residual glucose. Polydextrose-N is neutralised polydextrose.

What is it Made of?

It also contains small composition of free glucose, sorbitol, levoglucosan (1,6-anhydro-D-glucose) and citric acid.

What are the Health Benefits?

Polydextrose is a soluble fiber, a non-digestible carbohydrate that cannot be readily digested in the small intestine and it is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine and provides some calories. 

The FDA intends to propose it be added to the definition of dietary fiber and it may have the following benefits to humans (4):

  • Lowering blood glucose
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Increase in frequency of bowel movements (improved laxation)
  • Increased mineral absorption in the intestinal tract
  • Reduced energy intake (for example, due to the fiber promoting a feeling of fullness)

It may also have prebiotic benefits, as well as weight management by providing a satiety effect.

In 2011, EFSA pointed out that the consumption of foods/drinks containing polydextrose induced lower post-prandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses than sugar-containing foods/drinks.(5)

Properties

Appearance

White to light tan-coloured solid. It dissolves in water to give a clear, colourless to straw coloured solution. 

Solubility 

Highly soluble in water (80 g/100 g at 25°C) and generate a low viscosity solution.

CAS Number

68424-04-4

Molecular Weight 

A highly branched dextrose polymer and has a broad molecular weight (mw) range (162–20,000) with 90% of the molecules being between 504 and 5,000 mw.

What are the Uses of Polydextrose?

Due to the properties of low calorie, low glycemic index and a source of dietary fiber, polydextrose (E1200) play an important role in the healthy food products. It is widely used in food applications such as baked goods, dairy products, confectionery, beverages and others.

Generally, polydextrose is to provide:

  • Reduced sugar or replace sugar
  • Fat reduction or fat substitute
  • Low calorie
  • Low glycemic index
  • Fiber supplement
  • Prebiotic enrichment
  • Maillard browning

Also, it can function as a stabilizer, thickening agent, humectant and carrier.

Food

Polydextrose is approved by the FDA for use in the following product categories: baked goods & baking mixes, chewing gums, confections, frostings & salad dressings, frozen dairy desserts & mixes, gelatins, puddings, fillings, hard & soft candy, film coating on single and multiple vitamin and mineral supplement tablets. (6

Bakery

It functions as a humectant and water-binding additive to maintain a pleasant texture and good mouthfeel of bread, rolls, muffins, cakes and cookies. Also, it is used as a low-calorie bulking agent to replace sugar and fat in baked goods.

Dairy food

Polydextrose can be used as a fat and sugar substitute in low-fat and low-sugar dairy products as it provides creaminess, smoothness, and fat-like mouthfeel and texture, along with the reduced sugar. The application such as in frozen dairy desserts, yogurt and ice cream. 

Confectionery

It is to replace sugar, provide a creamy texture and enrich fiber content such as in candy and chocolate.

Beverage

It can be used in a variety of beverages, such as in carbonated drink and nutrition drinks to improve the mouthfeel, as well as a source of dietary fiber.

Cosmetics

Per the “European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients”, polydextrose acts as a bulking agent and humectant in cosmetic and personal care products. (7)

Is Polydextrose Safe?

Yes, its safety when used as a food additive has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Food Safety Authority (EFSA),  Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), as well as other authorities.

FDA

The FDA has deemed that polydextrose may be safely used in accordance with current good manufacturing practices as a bulking agent, formulation aid, humectant, and texturizer in all foods, except meat and poultry, baby food, and infant formula. (8

EFSA

Polydextrose (E1200) is listed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as an authorised food additive and categorized as “additives other than colours and sweeteners” (9)

Authorised Uses And Use Levels

It is approved in the EU at quantum satis (QS), in almost all authorised food categories listed below.

Its application is listed in Group I and separately by E 1200.

The following foods may contain with it (10):

  • Table-top sweeteners in powder and tablets form 
  • Energy-reduced and low-alcohol beers

Also, it is authorized as a carrier.

UK Food Standards Agency

Categorized in “Others” (11)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand 

It is an approved ingredient in Australia and New Zealand with the code number 1200. (12)

JECFA

Function Class: food additives, bulking agent, humectant, stabilizer and thickener. (13)

Acceptable Daily Intake: ADI “not specified” set in 1987. (14)

What are the Possible Side Effects?

It is common that sometimes consumers have questions whether polydextrose is bad for our health and what are the dangers. We understand that consumers prefer natural food additives and have concerns about the synthesized ingredients in the foods we eat. Polydextrose is generally considered safe but some people may be allergic or sensitive to it.

Allergy

As the FDA 21CFR172.841 written, sensitive individuals may experience a laxative effect from excessive consumption of more than 15g.

Is It Safe For Pregnant?

Yes, it is generally safe but better consult with your doctor in the condition of use.

Frequently asked questions

Is it Natural?

No, it is a synthetic fiber.

Is it Halal?

Yes, it is generally recognised as halal as it is permitted under the Islamic Law and fulfill the conditions of Halal. And we can find some manufacturers certificated with MUI halal.

Is it Kosher?

Yes, it is kosher pareve. E1200 has met all the “kashruth” requirements and can be certified as kosher. 

Is It Vegan? 

Generally, it is vegan as it produced from corn and the manufacturing process without the use of animal matter or products derived from animal origin.  

Is it Gluten Free? 

Yes, it is typically gluten-free and people with celiacs can eat it. It is an ingredient commonly found in both gluten-free and gluten-containing food labels. 

It is produced from corn complying with the FDA’s definition of gluten free, that it does not contain wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains.

What’s the Difference with Dextrose?

Polydextrose is a synthetic polymer of dextrose, and the composition in the polymer includes sorbitol and citric acid while it is only dextrose in dextrose.

Why it can be Used as A Fat Substitute?

As polydextrose has the same functions, such as binding, bulk, moisture retention, mouthfeel and other characteristics with that of fat, but with fewer calories than fat. 

Conclusion

Now you may have a knowledge of the bulking agent or fiber – Polydextrose (E1200), from the following aspects:

  • Its difference with sugar, sugar alcohol and artificial sweeteners
  • Its Calorie, Glycemic Index, not Keto-friendly properties
  • Manufacturing process
  • Uses in food
  • Safety
  • Side effects
  • Common FAQs

What do you think of this additive? Let me know in the comments.

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