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Classification of gellan gum

May. 09, 2022

A. Classified by the acyl content of the main chain of the gellan gum molecule

According to the different content of acyl groups in the main chain of gellan gum molecules, gellan gum can be divided into high acyl gellan gum (HA) and low acyl gellan gum (LA). Acyl groups largely affect its gelling characteristics. Gellan gum synthesised directly by microorganisms is generally rich in acyl groups (acetyl and glycerol groups) and becomes high acyl gellan gum (also called natural gellan gum).

High acyl gellan gum (HA) 

Highly acylated glues are obtained by the fermentation of oligomeric sphingomonads without deacylation.

Low acyl gellan gum (LA) 

Low acyl glues are obtained by removing all or part of the acyl group from the molecular structure of gellan gum.

The acyl group has a very significant influence on the properties of the gellan gum. High acyl gellan gums form soft, elastic and non-brittle gels, while low acyl gellan gums form firm, non-elastic but brittle gels.

Classification of gellan gum

Properties of high acyl gellan gum and low acyl gellan gum                            

 High acyl gellan gum (HA)

 Low acyl gellan gum

Molecular weight

1~2@106 Daltons

2~3@105 Daltons


Dissolve in hot water

Dissolve in hot or cold water (with chelating agent)

Condensation condition


Cation, acid, soluble solids

Gelling temperature

70~80℃ ( 158~176℉ )

30~50℃ ( 86~122℉ )

Thermal reversibility

Thermally reversible

Heat stable

Sensitivity to cations

Not very sensitive

Very sensitive, especially to divalent cations


B. Cassified by product application

Gellan gum can be divided into gellan gum for suspension use, gellan gum for gelling use, gellan gum for daily chemicals products, gellan gum for culture medium and edible gellan gum.

Gellan gum for suspension use

It is a low acyl gellan gum, mainly used in acidic or neutral highly transparent suspended drinks. It’s used to stabilise beverages by suspending fruit pulp and insoluble solid particles. It also can form a solid and brittle gel or be mixed with other colloids to produce products of different structure.

Recommended usage amount: 0.012~0.03% 

Gellan gum for gelling use 

It is a low acyl gellan gum. As a gelling agent, it plays a gel forming role in jelly, jam, candy and other water-based gel products.  

Recommended usage amount: 0.1 ~ 0.5%.

Gellan gum for daily chemicals products 

It's a low acylated gellan gum, mainly used in air scents and cosmetics to form a solid, transparent gel or a good water-holding emulsion.

Recommended usage amount: 0.2 to 0.6%.

Gellan gum for culture medium

It's a low acyl gellan gum, mainly used in biological media to form a solid and transparent medium for clearer observation of biological growth.

Recommended usage amount: 0.2~0.8%

Edible gellan gum

In the food industry, gellan gum is used as an excellent gelling agent, giving food a pleasant texture and taste. Compared to gelling polysaccharides such as carrageenan and agar, gellan gum has significant advantages in terms of acid stability, heat reversibility and volume of use.

The gel made by gellan gum is brittle and very sensitive to shear forces. It has a melt-in-your-mouth sensation when consumed. Gellan gum has good flavour release properties and is stable over a wide pH range. It can be used to improve the structure of food products, the physical stability of liquid nutritional products, and the ability to hold water in food preparation and storage. Gellan gum is compatible with other food gums to improve their stability or to modify their structure. In addition, it can improve starch to give it optimum textural properties and stability.

Function and usage of gellan gum in food



addition amount%

Frosting, icing


Bakery products

Moisture content control

0. 3 (pastry)


Foam stabilizer

Preserves, sweets


0. 075 (Starch gummy)

Jellies, fillings, sweets, jams, etc.


0. 2 (low solids jam)

Frozen drinks, syrups


Salad dressings


Powdered seasonings


Ice cream, salad dressings


Artificial sausage casings

Film-forming agent

0.7 (artificial multi-flavored fruit chunk)

Jams, meat sausages, fillings, etc.



Clarifying agent

Typical application of gellan gum in food

Main food category

Typical products


Starch jellies, pectin jellies, fillings, pulp gummies

Jams and jellies

Low calorie jams, artificial jams, bakery fillings, jellies

Artificial foods

Artificial fruit, artificial vegetables, artificial meat

Water-based gels

Dessert gels, meat slices

Fruit fillings and puddings

Instant desserts, canned puddings, fruit fillings, pre-cooked puddings


Various suspended fruit drinks, suspended fruit juice drinks

Dairy products

Gel dairy products, low-fat spreads

Pet food

Caned gel pet food