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What Are the Excellent Properties of Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is a new type of polysaccharide fermentation product. It was first put into industrial production by Kelco in 1961, and it is now widely used in the food industry.

Since it was introduced as a food additive in 1996, xanthan gum stabilizer has been widely accepted by the food industry. Due to the special macromolecular structure and colloidal properties of xanthan gum, xanthan gum can be used as emulsifier, stabilizer, gel thickener, sizing agent, film forming agent, etc. Consequently, xanthan gum is now internationally recognized as one of the most superior biological glues that integrate thickening, suspension, emulsification, and stability. It has a variety of excellent properties:

1. Suspension and emulsification

Xanthan gum has a good suspending effect on insoluble solids and oil droplets.  As xanthan gum sol molecules can form super-bonded ribbon-like spiral copolymers, which later forms a fragile glue-like network structure, xanthan gum can, in fact, effectively support the existence of various forms as solid particles, droplets and bubbles. Therefore, as a food additive, xanthan gum demonstrates strong emulsification stabilization and high suspension ability.

2. Thickening

Xanthan gum solution has the characteristics of low concentration and high viscosity. The viscosity of 0.2% xanthan aqueous solution is higher than that of almost all soluble colloids. Thus, xanthan gum is a highly effective thickener.

3. Fake plasticity

The xanthan gum solution normally has a high viscosity under the static condition or low shear. Under the circumstances of high shear, the viscosity of xanthan gum will drop sharply, but the molecular structure will remain unchanged. When the shearing force is eliminated, the reconstructed viscosity of xanthan gum solution will then be immediately restored.

4. Stability to heat

The viscosity of the xanthan gum solution does not change greatly with the change of temperature. Generally, the viscosity of polysaccharides will change due to heating, but the viscosity of xanthan gum solution is almost unchanged between 10-80℃. Even a low concentration aqueous solution still shows a stable high viscosity in a larger temperature range.

5. Stability to acid and alkali

The xanthan gum solution is very stable to acid and alkali, and its viscosity will not be affected from the PH value of 5 to 10.

6. Stability to salt

The xanthan gum solution is miscible with various saline solutions, and the viscosity of the xanthan gum solution wil not be affected by the mixture of xanthan gum and salt solutions.

7. Stability to enzymatic hydrolysis

The stable double helix structure of xanthan gum makes itself have strong anti-oxidation and anti-enzymatic ability. Many enzymes, such as protease, amylase, cellulase and hemicellulase, cannot degrade xanthan gum.

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