KP 028| How to "Dehydrate" Fats Using Tapioca Maltodextrin

What is Tapioca Maltodextrin?

Tapioca Maltodextrin is a light weight bulking agent derived from tapioca starch that has no perceptible flavor. When mixed with fat, it has the ability to absorb it, transforming the fat into a powder like substance. Further adding to the "dehydrated fat illusion," the maltodextrin disappears almost immediately when it comes into contact with a small amount of moisture. This sensation most notably occurs when a dehydrated fat is placed in one's mouth; the saliva dissolves the maltodextrin leaving behind only the fat, which gives the impression that it's "rehydrating" back to its original form.

This technique can be used for anything that is predominately fat based, as show in the dehydrated sesame "soil" we use for our sashimi dish or the dehydrated peanut butter that we roll our chocolate truffles in.

Site Categories

There are 18 Comments

GreenBake's picture

+ a little bit of some type of sugar (sucrose, xylitol, etc.). The combo looks like powdered sugar, but tastes amazing. Only unfiltered extra virgin olive oil and some added sugar will make it special (in my opinion). I’m sure I’ll get comments on this... Love it dusted on pasta.


Forgot to mention... I pass my mixture through a fine sieve to filter out the lumps.


Varying the source of the unfiltered extra virgin olive oil will give an amazing variety of finished product. Different types of sugar to sweeten it will be another way to experiment.


Can you tell I like the stuff?

pericowest's picture

Do you know if there is a difference between soybean maltodextrin used for this application and the maltodextrin sold by beer brewing shops to thicken low alcohol beer?  Would either work in this application?

GreenBake's picture

From what I’ve read, maltodextrin is made from a number of sources and tapioca is just one of them. If made from wheat, those who have wheat-related allergies may have an issue with it. This may be one reason why Tapioca Maltodextrin is used rather than some other type. Maybe someone who works in a restaurant can answer that part with more authority.


I used Tapioca Maltodextrin from WillPowder (via Amazon). The URL for their Tapioca Maltodextrin page is:

Achintya's picture

I m a student of hospitality and really interested cooking... I love the way you explain everything Chef Jacob... would love if you could do some stuff about foam formation and science behind it. 


Thanks :D

GreenBake's picture

I second that motion for Foam as a topic.


I’ve accidentally made some and I’ve seen some products for it ( directly or through Amazon), Chef Rubber (


Thanks for the suggestion... and welcome to Stella!

jacob burton's picture

I do eventually plan on shooting videos that showcase "modernist" techniques and ingredients, and obviously a few videos on foams would fit into that category. Thanks for the suggestions.


Achintya's picture

I tried this with tapioca starch, the texture was very unpleasant in the mouth it was sticking to the upper part of the mouth and the tongue, is tapioca starch different from tapioca maltodextrin and if yes what texture should I expect from that.


Thanks looking forward new videos. 




GreenBake's picture

Tapioca Maltodextrin is very, VERY light and fluffy. A one pound container, shown here on Amazon:


is 8.5 inches wide!


Tapioca starch is very different in density from tapioca maltodextrin. Use a whisk with tapioca maltodextrin in an open bowl and you will have it all over the kitchen.


So to (hopefully) answer your question, they cannot be interchanged.

jacob burton's picture

As GreenBake said, tapioca starch and maltodextrin are two completely different things. Although, I've been playing around with tapioca starch a lot lately for deep frying applications. A thin dusting before a bath in hot oil gives an incredibly unique crust.

haptalon's picture

Is there a difference between generic Maltodextrin and Tapioca Maltodextrin? here in the UK the former costs £3.79 kg and the latter £32.99 kg. I assume there must be.



darcy dietz's picture

That price for the tapioca malto is correct. In n. America it's sold by the pound, I paid 18 dollars.
You get enough to play with and use for a very very long time.

I suggest you use it for both savoury and sweet (separate) applications. Jacobs chocolate truffles recipe is perfect. And I've been thinking about a Blt sandwich but without the bacon; letting guests "dress" their lettuce and tomato with 'bacon dust' as they please. It would cut way down on fats yet give full flavour maybe... I haven't tried it yet. The thing is you'd probably have to eat it fairly fast as the dust would melt into the water content in the tomato. Something to try this weekend.
I have seen a restaurant in the USA rendering down chorizo and turning the fat into dust; added to several dishes on their menu. With huge success. Adding unctuous flavour without over salting could be a very big new trend. But what do I know?

jacob burton's picture

"Deconstructed BLT." I like it. Maybe if we have time at the boot camp we can work on this concept a little.

GreenBake's picture

I first heard of this on a Food Network contest and the (losing) Chef used Tapioca Maltodextrin and olive oil (extra virgin?). He probably didn’t use the extra flavorful unfiltered extra virgin, otherwise the judges wouldn’t have had such a negative response.


Fortunately, I had unfiltered extra virgin olive oil and some type of sugar... probably xylitol. The key is to use a flavorful oil and possibly include some sweetener because tapioca maltodextrin doesn’t taste very sweet on it’s own.


After all, it’s all about flavor structure :) The possibilities are endless and if you buy a pound of the stuff, you can experiment for a long, long time.

jacob burton's picture

You make a good point. Anytime a chef uses a technique like this, they need to make sure that their flavor structure is solid and beyond reproach. When a "flashy" technique like this is used, it is most people's natural inclination to look for flaws.

GreenBake's picture

Most of my “discoveries” have been accidents or (in this case) just happening to see a show and catch a sound bite that gets me thinking. The refining comes later.

darcy dietz's picture

if you get that tub of TM, you'll have an abundance of powder to play with. I think the cost of experimenting is nowhere near the cost of trying something for the first time and failing in front of friends.

What about using the TM with rendered bacon fat, then mixing the dust with finely ground black pepper? It's stable and looks a  great show when friends sprinkle it on. I like to call it the "rain from above, bless this sandwich" technique. 


what about using the TM with a more neutral oil, such as canola. Use your blender (I have Vitamix), and shred the heck out of basil in the oil. Strain. Then use the oil and TM, turn into a green soil/sand consistency. Keep it dry, maybe put into an inverse pyramid mold on a white plate in the corner. Then plate your Jacob's caprese salad, and dust before diving? Basil/olive oil/heirloom tomato... Punch it with a last drizzle of fine aged balsamic and some fresh hand ripped buffalo mozzarella, or a pungent ash cured goat cheese? A couple toast points or a big hunk of sourdough, doesn't matter, you're eating it not grading it on grammar. Enjoy! 


learner1's picture

I love these videos chef, they're really expanding my knowledge of applications in food!

One question I have about tapioca maltodextrin is how does it stand in heated applications. 
Would heat draw out the fat and dissolve the maltodextrin?

jacob burton's picture

Nope, tapioca maltodextrin is heat stable. Chris Cosentino slightly dehydrates bacon fat using TMD until he can press it together into little balls. He then toasts it in a dry pan (I think) and serves it as "bacon popcorn."