Ever wondered what is that white powder that the bakers sprinkle on your preferred vegan Donuts? Yes, it’s powdered sugar, but sugars have dextrose listed as a component. This is a type of glucose and can be found on many packaging labels such as candy, gum, and artificial sweeteners.
You must have seen and heard of this ingredient “cultured dextrose”. It seems healthy, like cultured yogurt, right?
The name “cultured dextrose” doesn’t specify what is inside. because even Alcohol and penicillin can be cultured dextrose. This is like an industry vernacular phrase, made by industries to hide the actual nature of the ingredients.
What is Cultured Dextrose?
Dextrose can be often found in items such as processed foods and is used in baking as a sweetener. It also has medicinal purposes like it is dissolved in drugs or solutions to increase blood sugar level. As it’s a simple sugar, the body quickly uses it for energy.
let’s understand sugar and the four most common forms of simple sugars:
- Sucrose (a.k.a. table sugar)
- Fructose (a.k.a. fruit sugar)
- Lactose (a.k.a. dairy sugar)
These types can also be categorized further into natural sources of sugar and added forms.
Why is Cultured Dextrose used?
Cultured dextrose has a friendlier image than synthetic and chemical preservatives. Its also uniquely suited to answer the microbial and sensory challenges that manufacturers face while manufacturing plant-based food.
Cultured Dextrose Benefits
- Cultured Dextrose is a Proven shelf life extension and it keeps the food fresh.
- It controls infectious growth in food and prevents microbial activities.
- It does not have any negative impacts on the sensory properties of food
- Easy and safe to use
Is Dextrose Vegan?
Normal dextrose is definitely vegan because it’s obtained from corn, but not all dextrose is extracted from corn and that could very well have traces of animal products.
Cultured dextrose is not vegan. because The producers of cultured skim milk and cultured dextrose, use a dairy-derived culture (The Ingredient) to produce this outcome. To purify milk solids this culture is used and then added to the dextrose.
Have you heard of “preservative 280”? It’s the same thing! Until recently, cultured dextrose used to be called preservative 280, a ‘group of ingredients that are used to prohibit mold in bread. You will think that it’s a good deal right? No! Of the hundreds of additives permitted in our food, this additive causes a reaction on consumers.
The food businesses and cultured dextrose manufacturers make identical chemicals by culturing propionibacteria in a medium such as dextrose, rice, whey or wheat. Because the process is natural, they can claim “no artificial preservatives”.
Therefore now, It has come to be accepted even in organic bread.
Is Consuming Cultured Dextrose Safe?
In a moderate amount, Yes. But according to the Canadian govt. website “Cultured dextrose are compounds of propionic, butyric, peptides and lactic acids that act as a preserver. Therefore, it is unfair to claim that the end-product does not contain preservatives or is not preserved”.
While the food supplement has been examined for safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not developed its assessment and has not given it a GRAS, status.
Despite not having GRAS status, cultured dextrose is seen in several food items to increase the shelf life.
Food that contains Cultured dextrose and is not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)
- Deli salads
- Cereal bars
- Sour cream,
- Salad dressing
- Hash browns
- Dips and spreads.
May Aggravate Milk Allergies
The bacteria used to make cultured dextrose usually comes from milk, but according to a report by the Vegetarian Resource Group, manufacturers may not get the bacteria directly from milk.
If you are lactose intolerant or you avoid milk for personal reasons, read food labels carefully. Labels that mention cultured dextrose but do not indicate that it contains milk, contact the manufacturer to be sure that the food is safe to eat.
Avoid dextrose If:
- If You Have Hyperglycemia Or High Blood Sugar
- If You Have Peripheral Oedema Or Swelling In The Arms, Feet, Or Legs
- If You Have Pulmonary Oedema When Fluids Build Up In The Lungs
- If You Have Hypokalemia Or Low Potassium Levels In The Blood
What are the side effects of dextrose?
People who have diabetes must prohibit consuming Dextrose because they might not be able to process dextrose as quickly as would someone without the condition. Dextrose can increase blood sugar too much, which is known as hyperglycemia.
- Fruity Odour In Breath
- Increasing Thirst With No Known Causes
- Dry Skin
- Shortness Of Breath
- Stomach Upset
- Unexplained Fatigue
- Urinating Frequently
More consumption of this type of sugar gets stored in the muscles as glycogen. It also leads to weight gain and a condition called insulin resistance. Meaning that the glucose is not effectively being delivered to the cells in the body.
When the body consumes preservatives, it does not break it down naturally as intended, causing swelling, digestive problems, headaches, and even fat accumulation.