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Question Re: Safe/forbidden Food Lists

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Maltodextrin is listed on both the safe and forbidden food lists. The forbidden food list says:

(1) Maltodextrin, when listed on food sold in the USA, must be (per FDA regulation) made from corn or potato. This rule does NOT apply to vitamin or mineral supplements and medications.(2)

I looked at a package of sugar free altoids at Trader Joe's yesterday, and here are the ingredients:

Sorbitol , Modified Cornstarch , Wheat Maltodextrin , Natural and Artificial Flavor , Magnesium Stearate , Gum Arabic , Sucralose Sweetener

Are Altoids considered a medication or have the laws changed? I have not much bothered with maltodextrin in the past, and with the new labeling laws, it would have to be labeled as wheat if it were derived from that. But those altoids got me thinking. Should this part of the food lists be updated? Just curious if anyone else is now seeing wheat maltodextrin on labels.

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Yes, I agree. Altoids are candy. So the part of the forbidden food list that says that maltodextrin in foods sold in the US has to be from corn or potato appears to be in error. Because that Altoids label clearly says the maltodextrin is from wheat.

Keep in mind, I think the safe/forbidden food lists are great. I relied on them a lot when I was first diagnosed. But they, like all lists, must evolve over time as labeling laws change.

I don't even like Altoids :) , but am only trying to bring the larger labeling issue to light. I want to make sure that the most current and accurate information is available to people who are learning how to read labels for the first time.

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The list is wrong. Maltodextrin in food CAN be made from wheat, but if it is, it must clearly state it is made from wheat. We rarely see it, and when we do it is often something made in Europe by a manufacturer trying to avoid using GMO corn.

It's true that the source of maltodextrin in medications doesn't have to be listed, but I can't ever remember hearing of any from wheat.

richard

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The list is wrong. Maltodextrin in food CAN be made from wheat, but if it is, it must clearly state it is made from wheat. We rarely see it, and when we do it is often something made in Europe by a manufacturer trying to avoid using GMO corn.

It's true that the source of maltodextrin in medications doesn't have to be listed, but I can't ever remember hearing of any from wheat.

richard

Thanks for the info, Richard. So if the lists are wrong, they need to be updated, right? How can we make that happen? So many people rely on them, and I would hate anyone to get steered in the wrong direction.

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my understanding is that maltodextrin, like many other safe ingredients, is made from corn unless otherwise stated. these altoids stated otherwise.

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my understanding is that maltodextrin, like many other safe ingredients, is made from corn unless otherwise stated. these altoids stated otherwise.

That is my understanding as well. That is not what the forbidden foods ingredients list says, however. It says this:

(1) Maltodextrin, when listed on food sold in the USA, must be (per FDA regulation) made from corn or potato. This rule does NOT apply to vitamin or mineral supplements and medications.(2)

That is in direct conflict to what I observed on a label this weekend.

I suspect I will not beat the dead horse anymore, but any error such as this can call into question the rest of the list. It is just my opinion, but I believe that the list should be updated.

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Are Altoids manufactured outside the US, i.e imported products? Don't know, just thinking.

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I think this is a case of the rule being misunderstood:

Maltodextrin, when listed on food sold in the USA, must be (per FDA regulation) made from corn or potato. This rule does NOT apply to vitamin or mineral supplements and medications.

What this means is that the single word "maltodextrin" when listed as an ingredient must be from corn or potato. It does not prohibit the use of another source, provided that source is disclosed, as in "wheat maltodextrin."

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Are Altoids manufactured outside the US, i.e imported products? Don't know, just thinking.

Yes, they might be produced outside of the US, but the list says SOLD in the US, not PRODUCED in the US. It might seem like a small thing, but I think it is important.

I think this is a case of the rule being misunderstood:

What this means is that the single word "maltodextrin" when listed as an ingredient must be from corn or potato. It does not prohibit the use of another source, provided that source is disclosed, as in "wheat maltodextrin."

This is good information. I think some wordsmithing could be done to make that more clear. I consider myself smarter than the average bear, :) and that wording is confusing. It says to me that all maltodextrin is made from corn or potato, not that it is made from corn or potato unless specified otherwise.

Checking the horse. Yup, still dead. :)

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I looked up the actual regulation, and in addition to corn and potato, rice is also permitted to be labeled simply as "maltodextrin."

"USA Code of Federal Regulations

Sec. 184.1444 Maltodextrin

CAS Reg. No. 9050-36-6. It is a nonsweet nutritive saccharide polymer that consists of D-glucose units linked primarily by [alpha]-1-4 bonds and has a dextrose equivalent (DE) of less that 20. It is prepared as a white powder or concentrated solution by partial hydrolysis of cornstarch, potato starch or rice starch with safe and suitable acids and enzymes."

Note: FDA also permits the use of other starches including wheat. For example, if wheat is used it must be labeled "wheat maltodextrin".

Now, as to whether wheat maltodextrin is safe, here is what Shelley Case has to say about it in "Gluten-Free Diet, A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Expanded Edition," page 52:

"Wheat based maltodextrin is used more frequently in Europe and is now being used in some North American products. Although maltodextrin may be derived from wheat, it is highly processed and purified (significantly more than modified food starches) and rendered gluten-free. North American and European scientists using the most sensitive, scientifically validated R5 ELISA Tests have not detected gluten in wheat-based maltodextrin." [The bolding appears in the original text.]

So if you accept that finding, then you can say that all maltodextrin is safe. You decide.

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Thanks for the info, Richard. So if the lists are wrong, they need to be updated, right? How can we make that happen? So many people rely on them, and I would hate anyone to get steered in the wrong direction.

Never, ever, EVER, rely on a list of this sort. They will be, at some point, wrong. Even if it's just by a day. Rely upon ingredient listings (this one clearly labels wheat) and rely upon calls to the company.

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Never, ever, EVER, rely on a list of this sort. They will be, at some point, wrong. Even if it's just by a day. Rely upon ingredient listings (this one clearly labels wheat) and rely upon calls to the company.

I agree with you. I do not now rely on lists, but I did in the beginning, and the safe/forbidden list was one of the ones I relied on most heavily. I am, quite honestly, surprised that nobody else thinks that the wording on this list with regards to this ingredient could confuse people.

Please forget I brought it up. Carry on with your normally scheduled discussions of poop and pizza. ;)

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I agree with you. I do not now rely on lists, but I did in the beginning, and the safe/forbidden list was one of the ones I relied on most heavily. I am, quite honestly, surprised that nobody else thinks that the wording on this list with regards to this ingredient could confuse people.

Please forget I brought it up. Carry on with your normally scheduled discussions of poop and pizza. ;)

Eh, we all read things differently. What doesn't confuse one, will confuse another. Heck, what doesn't confuse me one day, will confuse me the next, even if I wrote it. :rolleyes::lol: No worries. :)

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too bad that "corn based maltrodextrin" can't be called something else to avoid this word confusion.

can't they call it "corndextrin?"

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I do see how the entry can be read differently than the way I read it -- the single word maltodextrin means it must be made from something other than wheat.

richard

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