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What is Xanthan Gum?

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Xanthan gum is an ingredient you’ve likely seen in the food you eat. If you are cynical about food additives or you subscribe to urban myths about the carcinogenic properties of high fructose corn syrup and aspartame and the like, or you simply can’t be bothered to find reputable information, this post is for you. Let’s take a look at xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is chiefly a food additive. But hold your cynicism until the end of the post. To be technical, xanthan gum is a type of polysaccharide, a carbohydrate molecule comprising a chain of singular monosaccharides.

Monosaccharides are the simplest units of sugar, the building blocks of more complex carbohydrates. Some monosaccharides have familiar names, like glucose and fructose. Xanthan gum is derived from a bacteria called Xanthomonas Camestris in a fermentation process that usually involves corn, soy, or wheat. Manufacturers mix this bacteria with fermented sugars and a few other nutrients, and the product is purified, made into a powder, and eventually sold as xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is used for a variety of purposes; it is an ingredient in various medicines, a saliva substitute for people with dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome), and a laxative. Medicinal purposes aside, xanthan gum is used to thicken and stabilize foods, essentially holding them together.

Xanthan gum is often found in ice cream and commercial salad dressings, among other products. It is a major ingredient in gluten-free cooking because it has a neutral flavor and it serves most of the functions of gluten in bread products, providing thickness and a bit of stickiness. It can also be used with other ingredients to emulsify sauces and soups. Xanthan gum is not made from animal products, so undoubtedly it’s commonly used in vegan bakeries and similar venues.

At Liquid Health, we use xanthan gum extensively. 18 of our 29 products feature xanthan gum to give them that extra thickness and cohesiveness they need. There is nothing harmful about xanthan gum, and you can rest assured that our supplements would never contain an harmful ingredient. We use top-grade ingredients because we understand the importance of your health and we believe in producing safe, high-quality vitamin supplements.

As always, if you are looking for more information or you are interested in carrying or purchasing our products, don’t hesitate to call us at 800.995.6607 or send us an e-mail at [email protected]

Sources/Information:
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-340-XANTHAN%20GUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=340&activeIngredientName=XANTHAN%20GUM
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/390074/monosaccharide
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/469090/polysaccharide
http://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-xanthan-gum
http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/dairyfreeglossary/g/xanthangum.htm
http://www.modernistcookingmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-ingredients/more/xanthan-gum