Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Marie K. Walsh


Marie K. Walsh


Sulaiman Matarneh


Brian A. Nummer


David Wilson


Luis Bastarrachea


Food additives have been one of the traditional methods for preserving foods and are still in everyday use for multiple reasons. As the market size of processed foods grows, the use of food additives is increasing. Simultaneously, consumers try to avoid specific food additives or demand less processed foods because of several potential health concerns, suggesting the need for safe food additives.

In this environment, one group of food additives consisting of carbohydrates and fatty acids have received attention because of its nontoxicity and biodegradability with diverse functions. Notably, carbohydrate fatty acid compounds made of sucrose have been approved and used in the food industry. However, because of a relatively large ratio of low water-soluble fatty acid to sucrose, most of these compounds have demonstrated poor water solubility, leading to limited application.

Maltodextrin is produced by the breakdown of starch and consists of many smaller units which are water-soluble. This product was selected to attach to fatty acids and led to good water solubility. In addition, maltodextrin attached to fatty acids stabilized the immiscible mixture of oil and water not to be separated and inhibited multiple food-spoilage or poisoning microorganisms in lab and food models.This compound also showed low intestinal toxicity.

Maltodextrin attached to fatty acids appears to be a food additive that can decrease the potential health risks of food products while maintaining the food quality by stabilizing the food system and/or preventing microbial contamination.