Maltodextrin is a starch derived from corn, rice, potatoes and tapioca amongst other things. In molecular gastronomy maltodextrin from tapioca is usually used. It is a weak form of sugar, being far less sweet than the sugar we would use in baking and in the commercial food industry it is used make soft, low fat baked items. Because it is water soluble and absorbs fat, it is used in molecular gastronomy to make powders from fatty ingredients such as olive oil.
Tapioca Maltodextrin is available under various trade-names: Zorbit, El Bullí Texturas Malto