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An introduction to xanthan gum

Views: 271     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-07-14      Origin: Site


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An introduction to xanthan gum

A polysaccharide with several commercial applications, including as a typical food ingredient, is xanthan gum. It works well as a stabilizer, emulsifier, and thickening agent to keep components from separating. It may be made from simple sugars by a fermentation process, and it gets its name from the Xanthomonas campestris type of bacterium that is employed.


With the E number E415 and CAS number 11138-66-2, xanthan was given the go-ahead to be used in foods in 1968 and is now recognized as a safe food additive in the US, Canada, Europe, and many other nations.The bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, which is utilized in the fermentation process, gives xanthan gum its name.


The fermentation of glucose and sucrose results in the production of xanthan gum. The xanthan polymer is formed extracellularly in the medium, which is well aerated and agitated. The polymer is removed from the medium after one to four days with the help of isopropyl alcohol, and the precipitate is then dried and ground into a powder that is easily soluble in water or brine. It is made up of pentasaccharide repeat units with molar ratios of 2:2:1 of glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid.

A strain of X. campestris has been created that will grow on lactose, making it possible to utilize it to digest cheesemaking waste known as whey. For every 40 g/L of whey powder, this process may create 30 g/L of xanthan gum.Whey-derived xanthan gum is commonly used in many commercial products, such as shampoos and salad dressings.

Uses in food

A liquid's viscosity can be significantly raised by adding 1% xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is a frequent ingredient in sauces and salad dressings. Despite not being an emulsifier, it stabilizes the emulsion to aid in preventing oil separation. Spices and other solid particles can be suspended with the aid of xanthan gum. Many ice creams include xanthan gum to help achieve the correct texture. Xanthan gum is frequently used as a binder in toothpaste to maintain consistency.

Xanthan gum is used in gluten-free baking to impart the dough or batter with the stickiness that would normally be obtained with gluten. It is utilized in the majority of foods in quantities of 0.5% or less.Many different food products, including sauces, dressings, meat and poultry products, bread goods, confectionery goods, drinks, dairy goods, and others, employ xanthan gum.

Health and safety

There may be some health advantages to xanthan gum. It has regulated blood sugar, reduced cholesterol, and relieved the signs of dysphagia in mice with skin cancer tumor development. As a laxative, xanthan gum may also be used.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducted a safety study in 2017 and found that xanthan gum (European food additive number E 415) is extensively digested during intestinal fermentation and has no negative effects even at high consumption levels. The EFSA panel did not discover any evidence of long-term consumption-related genotoxicity.The EFSA concluded that there is no safety concern for the general population when xanthan gum is consumed as a food additive.

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