Xanthan Gum: The pros and cons of this synthetic gummy additive


What is xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide (a carbohydrate) whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together) that is extracted from bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. The xanthan gum is obtained from sugar with the help of fermentation (the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria) from bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. It is broken down into a broth substance which is made solid by the addition of alcohol. This mixture is then dried and powder.

Allene Rosalind Jeanes, a renowned researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, discovered xanthan gum and it was developed for commercial use. The FDA deemed it a safe food additive in 1968. Xanthan gum is produced by natural fermentation (the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria) of corn, soy, wheat, or cabbage. The bacteria digest the sugars in these vegetables and produce a complex sugar polymer. Alcohol is added to make it drop out of solution.

The xanthan gum is then dried and converted into a powder that can be used in the food and other products. It has also found a popular role to play in the production of gluten-free food products. Xanthan gum is found in many food, personal care, and industrial products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program has added xanthan gum on the National list for use in organic processing in the U.S. Xanthan gum has also found a major area of importance in organic production. It is classified as a vegetarian product and can be deemed to be halal (permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law) and kosher (foods are those that conform to the Jewish dietary regulations.)

Health benefits of xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is used to improve the consistency, texture, and flavor of your pastries. Apart from decorating your food and making it look appetizing xanthan gum helps in preserving your food and improves shelf life by giving that extra color that is a feast to your eyes. Xanthan gum is present in medicines, salad dressings, cosmetics, ice cream, and even gum.

Apart from making food better looking it is also anti-cancer in nature. The oral administration of xanthan gum effectively caused retardation in tumor growth and helped prolong survival. Certain food products of xanthan gum helped patients suffering from oropharyngeal dysphagia (a condition where a person finds difficulty or has an abnormality in swallowing.) xanthan gum possess this property as it has an increased tendency of viscosity. It helps in aspiration and used for stroke patients.

The viscosity nature of the xanthan gum helps in preventing the blood from spiking. This particular feature helps lower the blood pressure along with cholesterol levels. It is used as a saliva substitute for people suffering from dry mouth. Xanthan gum acts as good fiber and improves bowel regularity. It improves the movement of water in the intestines and makes the stools softer and helps in easier defecation.

The major health benefit that it provides is its efficiency to lower blood sugar. Its viscosity nature slows absorption and hinders sugar from entering into your blood stream. This helps to decrease sugar spikes after eating. Xanthan gum is present in the following foods:

  • Used as a substitute for wheat in gluten-free products.
  • Present in salad dressing and milk-based sauces.
  • Used as a thickening agent in several recipes.
  • Used in ice creams and frozen foods.
  • Syrups
  • Toppings
  • Baked goods
  • Confectioneries and candies,
  • Breadings
  • Batter
  • Low fat spreads.

The other uses of xanthan gum

Xanthan gum doesn’t just limit its service to food products but has also been an active member in personal and industrial products too. It is present in toothpaste, shampoos, lotions, and creams. The skin hydrating properties present in xanthan gum helps it to be used in beauty products.  It helps to keep the constituent together and if necessary loosen them up and allow them to mix with each other.

The drawbacks of consuming xanthan gum

The major outcome of things going wrong with xanthan gum is a stomach upset. It can showcase certain conditions like, increased frequency of bowel movement, loose stools, increase gas, and can alter gut bacteria. According to a 2012 article, published in the “Journal of Pediatrics” brought to notice that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out warnings that products containing xanthan gum have been linked to illnesses and deaths in infants.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made it mandatory, that over-the-counter medication which contains water-soluble gums, such as xanthan gum, must have warnings about choking on their packaging. As xanthan gum can cause choking this can be a result of esophageal obstruction and asphyxiation which can occur when these medications are not taken with enough water.

Beware if you fall in this category

Xanthan gum, though, a wonderful additive can at times be a risky ingredient. It is essential to avoid using xanthan gum for people having severe wheat, corn, soy or dairy allergies. Being derived from sugar xanthan can cause any adverse reaction to the people having these above-mentioned allergies.

Avoid using xanthan gum for premature infants as it can influence the infants to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (a medical condition where a portion of the bowel dies). This condition is said to be life-threatening and can start with damaging the intestine and leading to death.

People who are diabetic and on prescribed medication such as glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), etc, should take care while taking xanthan gum. Specifically, its intake should be stopped a few weeks before surgery to avoid any complications.

It is also advisable for people who have a history of fecal incontinence (the inability to control bowel movements, causing stool (feces) to leak unexpectedly from the rectum.) to avoid taking xanthan as it can work up the bowel more. 

Best xanthan gum substitutes 

Xanthan gum can be substituted with the following foods:

Psyllium Fiber

Psyllium is an excellent source of natural fibers and has a well-known beneficial quality in lowering cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. It is sold widely as a dietary supplement and has been used as an alternative for gluten. A little amount of Psyllium fiber helps to keep your bakery products fluffy and increase shelf life.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have the very same factors that encourage the use of it as a substitute for xanthan gum. It consists of a largely soluble amount of fibers, omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. The presence of the omega fatty acids helps it behave as a suppressing agent and eradicates the primary cause of chronic disease. It forms a gel-like substance when added with liquid and plays a vital role in improving the overall structure of baked goods. It also helps keep gluten-free bread from drying.

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are nature’s richest omega-3 fatty acids source. They have been found in bread and various bakery products for more than years. The health benefits of flaxseeds have made it a major element to be present in many food items. Flaxseeds have shown major improvements in medical conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol, and cancer. It is ground into a powder and used to make loaves of breads and it easily replace gluten without any hesitation.

Gelatin

The benefits of gelatin can be described on and on as mentioned by Weston a Price Foundation, “Prior to the mid 20th century, doctors recommended the addition of glycine-rich gelatin to the homemade infant formulas that were used when breastfeeding was not possible!” So the method of use is very simple just mix the powder form of gelatin with water and your gooey mixture for your wonderful cake is ready.

Agar Agar

Agar Agar is a healthy substitute for gelatin and is known as the safest form of xanthan gum substitute for vegetarians. It is derived from plants and is known as a plant-based gelatin substitute. It was used as weight reducing supplement by the Japanese and also opened his healing arms to treat diabetes and constipation. It is a product made from seaweed. You needn’t feel so gross about it, it is completely flavorless and is used as thickening and food stabilizing agent.

Quantity of xanthan gum used for various purposes 

If you need the correct form or look for your dish then please follow the below instructions: 

Thickening: As a thickening agent, the amount of xanthan gum you will use depends on how thick you want the liquid to be. For general purposes, you will use a 0.1% weight ratio for light thickening up to a 1.0% ratio for a very thick sauce. Care should be taken not to add too much xanthan gum as it can become detestable and seem like mucus.

Make Foam: To make foam it is essential to maintain a ratio between 2% and 0.8% of xanthan gum. The more xanthan gum you use can result in larger bubbles and will make the foam seem denser.

Create Bubbles: For bubbles, resembling soap bubbles, a typical ratio is 0.1% to 0.4% xanthan gum and 0.2% to 2.0% Versawhip or egg white powder.

Emulsion: To make a stronger emulsion it is necessary to add more xanthan gum, the more xanthan gum you add, the stronger the emulsion will be. To start binding an emulsion a ratio of around 0.1% can be used. If you want to also thicken the emulsion you can add up to around 0.7% of xanthan gum.

As a thickening agent in food, xanthan gum helps trap air bubble and keeps your lovely cake from losing shape. It is also an active emulsifier with the potential to hold your dish and make it a feast for your eyes. You can use xanthan gum for holding your sauces, pestos, soups and various forms of purees intact.

f

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from expert on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
green tea benefits
Green Tea: Does it really aid weight loss and reverse aging? A centuries-old concoction of fresh green leaves, green tea holds the secret to healthy weight…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains…
Grapeseed Oil: Find out how to use this oil without any side-effects Grapes are known for their delicious fresh taste and the fact that they make wine…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by…
LDL cholesterol level
Lecithin: Learn how you can utilize this fatty acid to improve your cholesterol count Lecithin is primarily a fatty acid found in common foods such as soy and eggs.…
How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
Hate making breakfast?Fast and healthy breakfast recipes just for you! Tired of snatching a bagel every morning for breakfast during the rush hour? Here are…
Bulletproof coffee recipe
Bulletproof Coffee – Breakfast of champions or yet another health fad? Can this special ketogenic coffee really make your body race as fast as a bullet?
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
Fructose: Healthy fruit-product or loaded with toxic calories? Fructose is a sugar derived from fruits and other plant sources. Does this mean that…
How cooking with CLA safflower oil can help you lose weight? Read and discover more about CLA safflower oil and how it can aid faster fat…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
global warming health
Rising mercury and your health: How Global Warming is damaging your body Don't ignore the rising temperature. Global warming causes more than just heat strokes. It could…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
Tea Tree Oil : The one stop cure for skin ailments and more… The popularity of tea tree oil, an essential oil, as the ultimate skin care pick…
Pomegranate: Why are they called ruby red pearls of health? The shrub Punicagranatum yields a red fruit which is what you normally call pomegranate. The…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Top 15 fat burning foods you need to start eating from today! Tired of going to gym everyday but seeing no change in your weight? Try these…

Related Posts