Dextrose, sometimes called glucose in its natural form (even though when processed the two become a bit different) is sugar derived from starch. It is used to add sweetness and texture to various snacks like cakes and candies. The reason behind the ambiguity as to whether or not dextrose is vegan is in its processing.
Apart from cornstarch, dextrose occurs naturally in starchy foods, honey, and in very small amounts in some fruits like bananas, cherries, papaya, kiwifruits, blueberries, and plums.
As Regards Processing
All sources agree that dextrose is derived from plants. However, some claim that its filtration process is done through bone char, while others are confident no animal elements are involved in the production process. And here is where the vegan debate about dextrose starts, officially.
Here is a short video picturing the process of dextrose production:
Additionally, the fact that there are so many genetically modified crops in the market today makes it a bit hard to trust that all corn is 100% natural. This too creates the likelihood that some dextrose being sold in stores today is genetically modified.
Overall, dextrose is perfectly fine for vegans as long as its manufacturing process is not questionable. In hospitals, dextrose is given to dehydrated patients and those with low sugar levels through an IVF. It is also great for boosting energy when you need to work out or recover some energy after a hard day’s work.
Because you may never really have all information on dextrose processing thereby not being sure if it is vegan or not, you may want to consider other sweetener alternatives like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dehydrated cane juice, stevia or agave syrup.
Check out this article by Sandi Busch on sources of dextrose in fruits.
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