Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide with a wide variety of uses, including as a common food additive. It is a powerful thickening agent, and also has uses as a stabilizer to prevent ingredients from separating.
It can be produced from a range of simple sugars using a fermentation process, and derives its name from the strain of bacteria used in this: Xanthomonas campestris.
Functions and Applications
1. It helps to prevent oil separation by stabilizing the emulsion, although it is not an emulsifier.
2. Xanthan gum also helps suspend solid particles, such as spices.
3. Xanthan gum helps create the pleasant texture in many ice creams, along with guar gum and locust bean gum.
4. Xanthan gum is also a preferred method of thickening liquids for those with swallowing disorders, since it does not change the color or flavor of foods or beverages