from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various soluble polysaccharides obtained from starch by the application of heat or acids and used mainly as adhesives and thickening agents.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a range of polymers of glucose, intermediate in complexity between maltose and starch, produced by the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch; used commercially as adhesives

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A translucent, gummy, amorphous substance, nearly tasteless and odorless, used as a substitute for gum, for sizing, etc., and obtained from starch by the action of heat, acids, or diastase. It is of somewhat variable composition, containing several carbohydrates which change easily to their respective varieties of sugar. It is so named from its rotating the plane of polarization to the right; -- called also British gum, Alsace gum, gommelin, leiocome, etc. See achroödextrin, and erythrodextrin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various polysaccharides obtained by hydrolysis of starch; a tasteless and odorless gummy substance that is used as a thickening agent and in adhesives and in dietary supplements


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was formerly believed that by the action of diastase on starch the latter is first converted into a gummy substance termed dextrin, which is then subsequently transformed into a sugar -- glucose.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 "Brescia" to "Bulgaria"

  • At the entrance to the store, leaflets were promoting cut-price alcohol with free mobile phone deals; the aisle ends had special offers for Nestlé's coffee-style caffeine drink Ricoffy listing dextrin (a starch sugar) and dextrose (a form of sugar) as its two main ingredients, and Nestlé's Cremora, a coffee creamer whose principle ingredients are glucose syrup solids and palm fat.

    Alarm as corporate giants target developing countries

  • In addition, the combination of glucose and fructose and some maltose, melezitose and dextrin makes honey an excellent source of caloric energy.

    Dr. Reese Halter: Giving Thanks for Bees

  • You'll need to continue avoiding barley, bulgur, farina, kamut, rye, spelt, and wheat; oats, which may be contaminated by gluten from other grains during processing; and gluten-containing additives such as malt extract, dextrin, and soy sauce.

    Q&A: Life without gluten?

  • As is often the case when one finds himself in the midst of a Postum discussion, the talk eventually turned to molasses, one of Postum's primary and no-longer-secret ingredients (the others being bran, wheat, and corn dextrin).

    Dave Hill: On Killer Molasses

  • For example, raw and flaked barley also, dextrin malts in the malt bill add body without adding fats like oats would.

    Hey Barkeep! I Want Head

  • Maltose and dextrin is believed nutritionally important, and in 1912, the company Mead Johnson threw a milk additive Dextri-called maltose.

    Spy Gum | Surveillance

  • “Malted” barley is barley which is starting to germinate — a process that converts the starch in the kernels into a soluble form called dextrin.

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  • The dried malt is then ground and mixed with hot water, which extracts the dextrin and converts it to a sugar, maltose.

    A wee dram o' chemical engineering

  • Of course, in our foggily food-sourced world, avoiding gluten is a labyrinth: gluten hides menacingly in almost every processed food, disguised as modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable oil, caramel color, dextrin, and even natural flavors.

    gluten-free chocolate financiers | smitten kitchen


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