Xanthan Gum Chemical and Physical Properties

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Xanthan Gum is a naturally occurring polymer that’s used in many food and beverage products, including ice cream, cake frosting, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. It’s also used as a thickening agent and dispersant in many industrial applications. In this article, we’ll discuss the chemical and physical properties of xanthan gum, including its molecular structure, acidity, solubility, thermal stability, and manufacturability.

Chemical Properties of Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum consists of seve­ral types of sugar units, including glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid. The­se individual sugar molecules link toge­ther to create a long chain re­sembling a string of beads. This unique arrange­ment grants xanthan gum its exceptional ability to thicke­n and stabilize substances.

The chemical properties of xanthan gum make it an extremely useful ingredient in the kitchen. It has a few key characteristics:

  1. Xanthan gum is a high-molecular weight polysaccharide, which means that it’s made up of many sugar molecules bonded together. The way these sugars bond to each other gives xanthan gum its unique properties.
  2. It can be used as an emulsifier, which means that it helps oil and water mix together without separating again (this is why it’s often found in salad dressings).
  3. It also acts as a stabilizer, so if you’re making something like mayonnaise or pudding that needs to be thickened with eggs, using xanthan gum will help keep the mixture from breaking down too quickly.
Related: Xanthan Gum Recipes for Cooking

Physical Properties of Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a thickening agent used in many commercial food products, and it’s also used as a binding agent for cosmetics. It’s made by mixing glucomannan–a polysaccharide that comes from the cell walls of blue-green algae–with water.

Xanthan gum has a number of physical properties that make it useful in food and beauty products:


Xanthan gum has high viscosity, which means it can be used to thicken liquid substances like chocolate milk or salad dressing.


Xanthan gum can be stretched to about three times its original length before breaking, meaning that it holds together well when you’re using it as an emulsifier or stabilizer in food products.

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Xanthan gum keeps its consistency over time without losing its elasticity or breaking down into smaller molecules during storage at room temperature, which makes it ideal for use in cosmetics and other products that don’t require refrigeration or freezing.


Xanthan gum does not absorb moisture from the air, which means it’s a good choice for products like baked goods that need to stay dry.  It also helps stabilize some types of foams when used in conjunction with other ingredients like gelatin or egg whites.

Related: Xanthan Gum Health Benefits

Applications of Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a thickener and stabilizer that can be used in a variety of applications.

1. Food:

Xanthan gum is commonly used as a gluten-free substitute in baking, as it helps to create the same elasticity and texture. It can also be used to thicken sauces and soups, or added to mashed potatoes for a smoother consistency.

2. Cosmetics:

Xanthan gum is used to thicken lotions and creams, which makes them easier to apply and more comfortable on the skin. It’s also effective at keeping water-based products mixed together—for example, adding xanthan gum to your shampoo will help keep the ingredients from separating during use!

3. Health:

Xanthan gum has been shown to have many health benefits including improved digestion and immune system function, prevention of ulcers, improved nutrient absorption from foods, protection against gastric acids (which can help prevent acid reflux), and even weight loss!


We hope that you found this information useful, and that it will help you to make a more informed decision about whether or not Xanthan gum is right for your business.

We know that there are many other factors to consider when deciding on which product to use, so if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out and let us know!

Read Our Latest Post: Production Process of Xanthan Gum

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