Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum
Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum

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Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a food additive that’s commonly added to foods as a thickener or stabilizer.

It’s created when sugar is fermented by a type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. When sugar is fermented, it creates a broth or goo-like substance, which is made solid by adding alcohol. It is then dried and turned into a powder.

Nutritional's per Tblsp:

  • 35 calories
  • 8 grams carbohydrates
  • 8 grams fiber
Uses:
  • Baked goods and pastry fillings
  • Ice cream and sherbet
  • Industrial products
  • Jams, jellies and sauces
  • Lotions
  • Medicines
  • Pudding
  • Salad dressings
  • Tubes of toothpaste
  • Yogurt
Allergens:

  • None

Disclaimer:

  • Products are produced in a factory that pack tree nuts, sesame, soya, gluten and dairy.

 

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, a type of carbohydrate, that is commonly used as a food additive due to its unique properties. It's made by fermenting a sugar using the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, then processing the resulting material to form a powder.

Here are some key facts about xanthan gum:

Thickening Agent: Xanthan gum is widely used as a thickening agent in many food products, including sauces, dressings, and baked goods. It helps to stabilize and thicken these products, improving their texture and making them more enjoyable to eat.

Gluten Substitute: In gluten-free baking, xanthan gum can replicate the elasticity and fluffiness that gluten provides, making it an essential ingredient in many gluten-free products.

Emulsifier: Xanthan gum also functions as an emulsifier, meaning it helps mix substances that usually don't combine well, like oil and water.

Safe to Consume: The FDA considers xanthan gum safe for consumption. It's a common food additive globally, and it's also been approved for use in foods by the World Health Organization and the European Union.

Dietary Fiber: In the human body, xanthan gum is not digestible and can add bulk to your diet as a form of soluble fiber. However, it's usually used in small amounts as an additive, so it may not contribute significantly to your daily fiber intake.

Potential Side Effects: While generally safe, consuming large amounts of xanthan gum may lead to digestive issues like gas and bloating. Individuals with severe allergies to wheat, corn, soy, and dairy should also be cautious as xanthan gum might be grown on a medium containing these allergens.

Industrial Applications: Beyond food, xanthan gum is also used in many industrial applications. For example, it's used in oil drilling operations due to its ability to thicken drilling mud.

Cosmetic Use: Xanthan gum is also found in many personal care products, like toothpaste and cream, where it serves as a binder and texture enhancer.

 

Some Facts About Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris through a process of fermentation. It has been studied for various reasons due to its unique characteristics and wide application in food and industrial processes. Here are some scientific facts about xanthan gum:

- Molecular Structure: Xanthan gum is a complex exopolysaccharide, composed of glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid. This structure is responsible for its unique properties like high viscosity at low concentrations, stability over a wide range of temperatures and pH, and excellent compatibility with most other food ingredients.

- Food Applications: Scientific studies have shown that xanthan gum acts as an efficient stabilizer and thickener in food products. It has the ability to improve the texture, shelf life, and appearance of many food products, from dressings and sauces to ice creams and baked goods.

- Gluten-Free Baking: In gluten-free baking, xanthan gum has been scientifically proven to improve the texture and mouthfeel of baked goods, providing elasticity and stickiness that would otherwise be missing due to the lack of gluten.

- Potential Health Benefits: As a soluble fiber, xanthan gum has been studied for its potential health benefits. Some research suggests that it may help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar, and promote regularity, although these effects are likely to be small given the small amounts typically consumed.

- Safety and Side Effects: Numerous studies have confirmed the safety of xanthan gum as a food additive. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has approved its use, and the FDA recognizes it as safe. However, like many dietary fibers, consuming large amounts could lead to digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea.

- Allergenic Potential: Xanthan gum can be produced using a variety of mediums that might include allergens such as wheat, soy, dairy, or corn. While the final product should be free of these allergens, individuals with severe allergies may want to exercise caution.

- Industrial and Pharmacological Applications: Beyond food, xanthan gum has been studied for its use in industry and pharmacology. For instance, it's used in oil drilling because of its ability to increase the viscosity of water. In pharmacy, it's often used as a binder and disintegrant in tablet formulations.

 

How can Xanthan Gum be used for Athletes?

While xanthan gum is not typically thought of as a dietary supplement, particularly in the context of athletic performance, it does have certain properties that could be beneficial. It's important to note that xanthan gum is not a source of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, or energy, but it does play a key role in the texture and consistency of many food and beverage products, including those used by athletes. Here's how:

- Meal and Supplement Texture: Xanthan gum's main use is as a thickening and stabilizing agent. This property is important in maintaining the consistency of protein shakes, meal replacement shakes, or recovery drinks. A smoother, more appealing texture can make these products more enjoyable to consume, encouraging regular use and ensuring athletes receive the nutrients they need.

- Hydration: Xanthan gum can help to thicken and stabilize beverages, potentially slowing the rate at which fluids leave the stomach and promoting better hydration. This may be helpful for athletes who need to maintain hydration during long training sessions or competitions.

- Gluten-Free Athletes: For athletes who follow a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, xanthan gum plays a crucial role in improving the texture of gluten-free baked goods. This allows athletes to enjoy a wider range of carbohydrate sources, which are important for energy production during exercise.

- Potential Digestive Health Benefits: As a type of soluble fiber, xanthan gum can add to the overall fiber content of the diet, which promotes digestive health. A healthy digestive system can ensure optimal nutrient absorption from foods, which is crucial for athletic performance and recovery.

How Xanthan Gum can be used in cooking

Xanthan gum, a versatile thickening agent and stabilizer, can be used in a variety of healthy meals, particularly for those requiring gluten-free or low-carb options. Here are some meal ideas incorporating xanthan gum:

Gluten-Free Bread: Use xanthan gum as a binding agent in gluten-free bread recipes. It helps to mimic the elasticity and texture of gluten, resulting in a better bread structure.

Healthy Smoothies: Add a small amount of xanthan gum to smoothies to thicken them without altering the flavor. It's especially useful in smoothies with watery fruits or veggies to give them a creamier texture.

Low-Carb Sauces and Gravies: Xanthan gum can be used to thicken sauces and gravies without adding extra carbs or calories, making it ideal for low-carb and keto diets.

Vegan Soups: For creamy vegan soups without dairy, use xanthan gum as a thickener. It works well in soups like tomato, butternut squash, or potato leek soup.

Salad Dressings: Create healthier, homemade salad dressings by using xanthan gum to emulsify and stabilize the mixture. This allows for less oil to be used while maintaining a rich and creamy consistency.

Gluten-Free Pancakes and Waffles: In gluten-free pancake or waffle batters, xanthan gum can help to provide the fluffy and chewy texture that is often missing in gluten-free baked goods.

Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt: To achieve a smooth and creamy texture in homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt, especially in sugar-free or dairy-free versions, xanthan gum can be a great addition.

Thickened Beverages: For those with swallowing difficulties, xanthan gum can be used to thicken beverages to a more manageable consistency.

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough: Use xanthan gum in gluten-free pizza dough recipes to help mimic the chewy texture of traditional pizza dough.

Low-Carb Noodles: In homemade low-carb or gluten-free noodle recipes, xanthan gum can provide elasticity and help the noodles hold together during cooking.

When using xanthan gum, it's important to remember that a little goes a long way. Too much can make food gummy or slimy, so it's best used in small quantities. Its neutral flavor and powerful thickening properties make it an excellent ingredient for healthier cooking and baking.

Orders are dispatched daily (except Saturday & Sundays – these orders will be packed and sent on Monday).  Your order should be received within 1-4 business days.

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