Xanthan gum: uses and properties of this ingredient

Xanthan gum is an ingredient that increased its presence in the products of the food industry departments.

Although it is not usual that when buying a product we carefully review the labels to read each of the ingredients that make it up, we usually look at the taste and risk the nutritional value data, but if we throw away at a glance we can see that xanthan gum is already present in many products.

But … What is xanthan gum? What are its uses and why has it become popular?

    Xanthan gum: its uses and properties

    Xantan xantan is a high molecular weight polysaccharide obtained by fermentation of carbohydrates. Its high solubility capacity and its stability in the presence of salts and its resistance to enzymes, have made this substance one of the main polymers used in the food industry.

    1. Properties of xanthan gum

    The molecular structural rigidity of this rubber gives it unusual properties such as thermal stability, tolerance to acidic, acidic and basic solutions. It has a stable viscosity over wide temperature ranges and resistance to enzymatic degradation.


    It is not soluble in organic solvents. It is easily soluble at high and low temperatures. It must first dissolve completely in water and then add the chosen solvent with continuous stirring.


    Aqueous solutions of xanthan gum they are very viscous. This viscosity is not affected by freezing or boiling point temperature. This is why it is chosen by the food industry because the properties of the finished products where they are used remain stable, whether they are refrigerated, at room temperature or even in hot areas.

    Rheological properties

    Xanthan or xanthan gum solutions are pseudo-plastic, important characteristic in the stabilization of suspensions and emulsions. This pseudo-plastic property improves the sensory characteristics of the final product (mouth feel, taste release) and also guarantees a high degree of mixing, pumping and pouring.

    All these properties make xanthan gum a highly sought after ingredient in the food industry because it offers many benefits and makes it a great alternative for people with celiac disease in baking, allowing bread to spread, enhancing flavor and allowing cold or hot storage.

      2. Applications of this ingredient in food

      The applications of xanthan gum in the food industry and in home food preparation are many and varied.

      Indeed, thanks to its nature and properties allow you to add texture, flavor and viscosity replacing ingredients such as certain additives, preservatives or gluten which are harmful to health in excess or to which some people are allergic.


      Xantan xantan it is mainly used in baked goods because it helps them to be better mopped up as a replacement for gluten in recipesBut its use is just as effective in other foods.

      ice cream

      It is effective for making ice cream because delays crystal formation during freezingThis results in a much creamier product.

      Industrialized and packaged flavored drinks

      For drinks containing fruit pulp, xanthan gum it is used to keep the fruit pieces in suspension, making them look better.

      Due to this ability to keep solid elements that are not soluble in liquids in suspension, xanthan gum is widely used in industrialized drinks, as it is also compatible with the rest of the ingredients.

      Light products low in fat

      One amazing use of xanthan gum, or xanthan gum, is that it is applied to low calorie foods to replace the pleasant feeling produced by fatty foods.

      This gum is added to light coconut milk to compensate for the lack of fat, And this causes the sensation when taking is similar to that of coconut milk with fat.


      The gum improves the fluidity and adhesion of syrups to fruit ice cream or pancakes, so they control runoff and penetration.

      Pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications

      Xanthan gum is used as a thickener in syrups or as a stabilizer in emulsions for the pharmaceutical industry. For cosmetics, it is useful for the stability it brings to the pH temperature, salts and acids, as well as changes in forces such as agitation, so in makeup removers, creams and masks are widely used.

      Recommendations for the home use of xanthan rubber

      The side effects are minimal. However, it could cause gas and abdominal distension in people with high stomach sensitivity. Outraged, does not contain fat or protein; it consists mainly of dietary fiberIt can therefore also be useful for athletes or people who want to take care of their figure.

      Some recommendations for home use in breads are to be careful with the added amounts, because if used sparingly the bread can become brittle and hard, and if overused the bread will look shrunken when used. ‘it is withdrawn. will continue to reduce its size even a few days later.

      It is also necessary to take into account the type of liquid flours, flavorings and other added ingredients, as each one changes or improves the properties of xanthan gum.

      Xanthan gum is non-toxic and the United States FDA approved it as a food additive in 1969 without any restrictions or quantity limit.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Barrére, GC, Barber, CE and Daniels, MJ (1986) Intl. J. Biological Macromolecules, 8 (6): pages 372-374.

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