Since its discovery, many industries have considered xanthan gum application in food processing quite important. It can be used as an emulsifier, stabilizer and thickening agent in a wide variety of foods. We use it unknowingly in many of our favorite snacks, sauces and baked goods. The application of xanthan gum in food processing has been seen as a boon to the industry.
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is produced by fermenting corn sugar with a bacteria called Xanthomonas Campestris. The bacteria produces exoenzymes which break down the corn sugar into small molecules, then the large molecules are broken down into glucose and xanthan gum. Xanthan gum chemical formula is complex and physically, it is a fine white powder that is soluble in water and can be used as a thickening agent. Xanthan gum has been used in food processing since the 1960s. Since then, the uses of xanthan gum have increased due to its ability to improve the texture of many foods.
Why do we use Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is used as a food additive in order to improve the texture and consistency of many foods. We do not thicken and emulsify using unnatural products because we care about the health of our customers. We also use xanthan gum to provide a more uniform texture in foods, which helps to prevent them from separating when cooking or heating..
In the kitchen, you can use it to make sauces thicker without changing their flavor or increasing their sugar content. This is particularly handy with low-fat recipes such as béchamel sauce because they tend to be thin in consistency. It will also improve the texture of homemade guacamole and allow you to use less oil when making mayonnaise!
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What are Its Applications in Food Processing?
There are various xanthan gum applications. It can be added to frozen desserts, juices and smoothies, soups and sauces, dairy products, baked goods and vegetables and fruit. It is also used as a thickening agent for meat products.
If you are wondering “how do we use xanthan gum?” then you should know that the list is endless, but here are some examples:
-Thickening agent: Xanthan gum is used in salad dressings, sauces and soups to thicken them without sacrificing their flavor. It also increases their viscosity (resistance to flow) while simultaneously preventing the separation of liquids and solids.
-Binder and emulsifier: It is used in baked goods to bind them together, increasing their shelf life by preventing spoilage. It is also used as an emulsifier in ice cream production, which helps prevent the separation of milk fat from other ingredients such as sugar and flavorings.
-Anticaking agent: Xanthan gum is used as an anticaking agent in powdered foods, such as sugar and flour. It prevents clumping, which would make them difficult to use. It also acts as an emulsifier, increasing the viscosity of the powder and keeping it from settling out.
-Stabilizer: Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer in salad dressings and sauces to keep them from separating into layers of oil and vinegar.
-Flavoring agent: It is used as a flavoring agent in processed foods such as cheese and mayonnaise. It gives these items a thicker, creamier texture without adding calories or fat.
One application other than xanthan gum in food processing is the cosmetic industry.
It is also often used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and personal care products, such as toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. It helps create a thicker consistency without using more ingredients. The same can be said for industrial applications as well; it’s commonly found in paint and coatings because it thickens quickly with limited mixing time.
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Is Xanthan Gum natural?
Xanthan gum is a natural food additive made of a carbohydrate polymer. It is produced by fermentation of glucose with a strain of bacteria mentioned above. It produces exopolysaccharides that are high in fiber, which can be extracted and purified for use as an emulsifier and stabilizer in foods. The process by which it is made is completely natural, and has been used for centuries in a variety of foods. It’s also considered safe by the FDA, and is commonly found in products such as salad dressings, sauces and ice cream.
In fact, xanthan gum was first used as an antibiotic to treat pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in burn patients—but it was discovered to have better properties as an agent for thickening liquid solutions than other gums like tragacanth.
So, now you know the truth about xanthan gum. It’s a safe and natural ingredient that has been used for decades to thicken foods and stabilize liquids. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and purchase some xanthan gum today, and start adding it to your favorite dishes. You’ll be surprised at how much you like the results!