Xanthan Gum

xanthin gum

Xanthan Gum thickens, stabilizes and emulsifies. Often used as a binding agent and structure stabilizer in gluten free baking; it is also handy as a thickener during cooking and can be used in soups and gravies;  it is used to create a creamy consistency in ice creams with reduced butter fat or no egg yolk.

  • Because Gluten Free Baking must use multiple ingredients to mimic the action of the protein matrix called gluten, a gum is often used in a GF flour mixture for structure stabilization and binding during baking.
  • It must be made in lab, and does not occur naturally. It was discovered in a USDA lab, in the 1950s.  It was studied extensively because it can supplement for other natural and synthetic gum.  Pharmaceutical companies are currently the domestic manufacturers. Produced by fermentation of sugars, usually from corn, often GMO corn.
  • Industrial grade formulations are used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; ceramic glazes, slurry explosives; petroleum production and enhanced oil recovery.
  • Food grade uses include it as an additive in salad dressings, dry mixes, syrups, beverages, dairy products, baked goods, baked goods, frozen foods and ice cream.
  • In some people, it can have side effects such as intestinal gas (flatulence) and bloating. Some people might experience flu-like symptoms, nose and throat irritation, and lung problems when exposed to xanthan gum powder.

References:

Side Effects of Xanthan Gum; WebMD

Xanthan Gum; Wikipedia;

Xanthan gum: production, recovery & properties; Garcia-Ochoa, F.  et. Al.; Biotechnology Advances 18 (2000) 549-579

Kitchen Wisdom Gluten Free Xanthan Gum Fact Sheet” by Liz Conforti, Forget What You Know About Wheat(c) 2015

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