Dextrose has popped up on our ingredient list. Today we will find out what is dextrose and how it is used. We will be going into great detail about this common ingredient.
This popular ingredient is on hundreds of food and drug labels. All of the products that we found with dextrose in it will be listed at the bottom of this page.
What Is Dextrose?
It’s is one of the most popular forms of sugar used as an ingredient. There are many sources of natural sugar, but dextrose is specifically derived of whole corn.
When you taste boiled natural corn on the cob there is a sweet flavor. Corn is naturally sweet right out of the cob. If you were to pull out all of the sweet flavor from corn, you would have dextrose.
Dextrose is manufactured by extracting the natural sweetener directly from corn. Extracting anything from a natural source is unnatural. The process of making it is unnatural, because it does not fall out of corn naturally.
The actual dextrose ingredient is considered to be a natural ingredient because it is made of natural corn. If you are wanting to eat natural foods, the sugar can be part of your diet.
Is It Organic?
For the sake of this article I’m unable to label dextrose as an organic ingredient. To be an organic product, the corn would need to be grown organic.
If the corn sugar was organic, the manufacture would make it using organic corn.
Yes, dextrose is a natural ingredient. Not all corn is organic. Organic corn would have been grown in organic corn fields.
Product manufactures that have organic ingredients usually post it somewhere on the package. If the dextrose product has an organic label saying organic, then the corn was grown organic.
Product manufactures are normally proud of organic products, and use “organic” as a selling technique. Consumers also look for organic labels on the products they buy.
Is Dextrose Sugar?
Technically YES it is literally sugar. It is the natural sugar found in corn. It’s the sweet in the sweet corn.
It should not be confused with granulated sugar from sugar cane. The corn sugar not the same as granulated sugar.
Actually all plants contain some type of sugar. Plants create sugar during photosynthesis. The natural sugars from the plant feed the plant and help it grow.
Granulated sugar is naturally made by the sugar cane. Dextrose is made by corn stalks.
The sugars produced by plants are often extracted for ingredients. Each sugar will have a specific name for the source.
How Dextrose Is Used?
Dextrose is mostly used as a sugar or sweetener. Since it is a natural sugar it is often used for internal or inside the human body. The natural sugar / starch also serves an in ingredient in some industrial applications.
Dextrose is usually used as a sweetener for foods. Food manufactures that want to sweeten their product may choose dextrose as an alternative to cane sugar or fruit sugars. Check you food labels for “dextrose”.
Consumers may also buy pure dextrose for their homes to use as a cane sugar substitute. Corn sugar is less sweet than pure cane sugar. If a doctor ask you to limit your sugar intake, a substitute may be needed for your home.
Athletes are also some people that may use dextrose in their foods in place of granulated sugar. Corn sugar can be helpful before or after workouts to regain or charge your energy. Many herbal and supplement retailers will have the sugar available for sale to customers.
Health care providers often use dextrose for treatments and therapies. This sugar has been directly connected to medical care for blood treatments and a number of other illnesses such as dehydration.
Pharmacy’s can provide dextrose with a prescription under these names:
Dextrose can be used to treat:
Doctors can also use it to help:
- Feed Patients By IV
- Dilute Other Medications
- Diagnostic Testing
These medical uses are only some of the more common uses for dextrose. I’m sure that there are other uses that I failed to mention. You can always talk to a pharmacist or health care provider. Health and drug professionals have extensive knowledge about specific dextrose medical uses.
Learning And Recreation Uses
Dextrose is an inexpensive simple sugar, that is easy to get. It’s great to use in hobbies and in the classroom.
Teachers can teach their class about glucose and have fun chemistry experiments. It can also be used directly by students with science projects including the “science fair”. The perfect budget friendly ingredient.
Hobbyist have also been know to dabble with the dextrose. This simple sugar can be used to create homemade biofuel. Like rocket fuel for homemade rockets. I’m sure that the corn sugar has been fuel for many other homemade contraptions by hobbyist.
Biochemical engineers have worked many years creating biofuels. Natural sugars and starches are some of the best ingredients for their work.
Having a high performing biofuel will reduce pollution and emissions associated with traveling.
We have also went over the uses of cornstarch in biofuels in a previous article.
Even though the sugar is a natural ingredient, there are still dangers associated with consumption.
There can always be too much of a good thing. With the abundance of foods being sold with added sugars, its easy to overdo your sugar intake. When eating any kind of sugar, control is the key. Side effects from consuming dextrose can include:
Most medical use of dextrose is supervised by medical professional. Likely in hospitals or clinics. When the sugar enters the body, it quickly enters the blood stream. A medical staff member is usually nearby to monitor for adverse effects.
Your doctor would already have access to your medical history including possible allergies. Under direct supervision by a doctor, dextrose is relatively safe. Trained medical employees are ready to treat any adverse effects on the spot if there were any to occur.
Your doctor may prescribe dextrose. Your doctor will be aware of allergies, diabetes, heart disease, ect. Misuse is the most common danger with taking it by prescription. As long as the medication is taken as the doctor orders, it should be safe.
The dangers are when:
- taking the medication against doctors orders
- missing doses
- taking the medication without a prescription
Dangers Of Other Uses
As I mentioned before dextrose is a popular ingredient for chemistry, science projects and hobbies. Even though it’s “only sugar” it should be treated as a dangerous chemical.
Mishandling of the sugar could lead to serious injuries. Mixed with the wrong chemicals, it could ignite, explode or even release dangerous fumes.
Dextrose is capable of becoming a biofuel with the right ingredients. The sugar should be kept away from other chemicals.
Products That Contain Dextrose
The following products have “dextrose” listed as an ingredient on the product label. The list will get longer as we dissect more products.
- Family Wellness Extra Strength Antacid Tablets sold by Family Dollar stores. Assorted Berry Flavors in the 96 chewable tablets package size. Calcium Carbonate is listed as the the only active ingredient. There are also 11 inactive ingredients listed in this same product. Including Adipic Acid, Corn Starch, Crospovidone, Dextrose, FD&C Blue 1 Lake, FD&C Red 40 Lake, Flavors, Magnesium Stearate, Maltodextrin, Sucrose, Talc.