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Maltodextrin: Converting High-fat Liquids into Powder

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Another technique of molecular gastronomy chefs is to convert liquids with high fat content into powder using a specific type of Tapioca Maltodextrin called N-Zorbit M. This type of Tapioca Maltodextrin is derived from tapioca that has been specially designed to have a very low bulk density. It is very light, so be careful when you open the recipient with the Maltodextrin or your kitchen will end up covered in white powder. (buy Tapioca Maltodextrin here)

Tapioca Maltodextrin is used in the food industry to increase the volume of dry mixes and frozen foods.

Tapioca Maltodextrin to make olive oil powder

It is moderately sweet or almost flavorless. In molecular gastronomy, Tapioca Maltodextrin is used to stabilize high fat ingredients which can then be transformed into powders.

This technique is very easy and will definitely surprise your diners. It is a great way of transforming regular ingredients from liquid or solid into powder to add a new dimension to your dish. The powder melts in your mouth as soon as it gets in contact with your tongue. The sensation is pretty cool.

The process of converting a high-fat liquid into powder is very simple. The high fat ingredient should be liquefied first if it is solid, chilled and then mixed with Tapioca Maltodextrin using a starting ratio of 60% fat to 40% Tapioca Maltodextrin. More Tapioca Maltodextrin should be added if necessary. To make the powder fluffier, it is then usually passed through a tamis.

These are some example of powders created with Maltodextrin by molecular gastronomy chefs:

Olive Oil Powder

Caramel Powder

Nutella Powder

Coconut oil Powder

Bacon Powder

Peanut Butter Powder

White Chocolate Powder

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  • Drgoatlord

    You can add fat to non fat liquids to turn it into powder easily with heavy cream

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I have no idea.

  • England31

    anybody ever try making yogurt into powder?? didnt seem to work for me but peanut butter worked awesome!!!

  • Freddie Famble

    question, this 60/40 ratio is it by weight of both ingredients?

    • QuantumChef


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  • Chad Brite

    Will this technique work with eggs? Such as a Semifreddo.

    • QuantumChef

      Never tried but I suspect it won’t. Please let us know what happens if you try!

  • SFeater

    could you flavor a neutral oil to make other flavors of powder?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, you can use any flavored or infused oil.

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  • SFeater

    Do you have any sources that describe the chemical reaction taking place. I want to do this for my 8th grade science class, I did sphereification last time, it was great. My classmates liked it so much they want me to do another molecular gastronomy project. I thought nutella powder would go over well. But I need some science to explain the process.

    • Craig Field

      you use tapioca maltodextrin to transform and type of lipid or fat into a powder. its usually a 60% fat 40% malto ratio, but more malto may be needed depending on your application!

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  • Jason Gomez

    will it work with coconut milk?

    • QuantumChef

      I don’t think the fat content is high enough but it may work with coconut cream.

      • Paora Brosnan

        I have been wondering the same thing; if coconut cream would work. i see it has been 4 years since this question and am wondering if you have had a chance to trial it out. is there a minimum % of fat needed in an ingredient for the maltodextrin to take affect?

        • QuantumChef

          Haven’t tried it, sorry! Fat content needs to be very high but there is no specific number since it also depends on what the other components are.

  • Mary M

    Would it work with buttercream icing? I.e. an icing (frosting if you are in the USA ;-) ) made with 1 part butter to 2 parts powdered sugar? The type you usually see on cupcakes.

    • QuantumChef

      I am guessing here but I think it should work since you only have solids and fat.

  • Mavis Moog

    What is the GI of this product? Can a diabetic eat it safely?

  • Melangelle

    wonder if you could do this with pot butter

    • William J. Stewart

      Yes, easily

  • tjj222

    Hi is this shelf stable and for how long?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, just store it in a sealed container. How long depends on the ingredients your are using but olive oil powder for example can be stored several days or weeks.

  • tim

    does anyone know how, when presenting a dessert sauce coming off a spoon to get the shape of a square? I saw grant achatz do it and I am floored, any help would be great

  • Mr Sangan

    Do you think it would work with a white chocolate custard?

    • QuantumChef

      Not sure, never tried it but if you make a modified version with extra fat it might work.

  • Клим Голондарёв

    Hello. How many grams of fat should be in 100 grams of base? I tried to do this with cod-liver (66g fat in 100g of cod-liver), but it doesn’t work :-(

    • QuantumChef

      You should probably use cod liver oil instead.

  • Jeffm

    Can you convert BBQ sauce into a dry rub

    • QuantumChef

      Not using this technique, it doesn’t have enough fat content.

  • Soe Wai Wai

    i want to grind chicken meat and fat into minced meat and make them into powder.. would it work??

  • Teri Brown

    Can you make a powder from a beef broth that will dissolve in water?

  • Javier Giron

    Do you just heat the peanut butter to make it a liquid?

    • QuantumChef


  • Bill

    Related to questions in this thread: 1. what is the carb content per volume used as this pertains to the diabetic question from 3 years ago. 2. I want to use this with salmon to make a salmon powder for use in long distance hiking. Can I make this, i.e., is the fat content of salmon high enough or should I add olive oil in the cooking process after liquifying the salmon?

  • Mike Wisor

    Can a beurre blanc sauce be turned into powder? Will that powder melt on a warm protein?

  • Alexandre Sobreira Martins

    Every time I’ve tried this, no matter how much maltodextrin I add, the result is always a paste, never a power. And it’s very chewy and sticky, also regardless of the oil I use. Can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong? Thanks!