Xanthan Gum

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is a type of carbohydrate used as a food additive. It is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. [1]

What is it used for?

In most foods, it is used at 0.5% and can be used in lower concentrations. The viscosity of Xanthan gum solutions decreases with higher shear rates; this is called pseudo plasticity. This means that a product subjected to shear, whether from mixing, shaking or even chewing, will thin out, but once the shear forces are removed, the food will thicken back up. A practical use would be in salad dressing: The Xanthan gum makes it thick enough at rest in the bottle to keep the mixture fairly homogeneous, but the shear forces generated by shaking and pouring thins it so it can be easily poured. When it exits the bottle, the shear forces are removed and it thickens back up so it clings to the salad. Unlike other gum, it is very stable under a wide range of temperatures and pH. [1]