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What is Xanthan Gum?

1. What is xanthan gum?

As the main component of thickeners, xanthan gum is of great importance in the food industry. However, what is xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum, or yellow gum, is a monospore polysaccharide produced by fermentation of Pseudoxanthomonas. It is composed of X.campestris with carbohydrates as the main raw material. It is a kind of acidic extracellular heteropolysaccharide synthesized by aerobic fermentation bioengineering technology. With the help of aerobic fermentation bioengineering technology, the 1,6-glycosidic bonds in brassica oleracea Xanthomonas black rot are firstly cut and the branched chains are opened. Eventually, 1,4-bonds are pressed to form xanthan gum. Xanthan gum solution has the characteristics of low concentration and high viscosity (the viscosity of 1% aqueous solution is equivalent to 100 times that of gelatin). Therefore, it is an efficient thickener.

Xanthan gum can also be used in the production of bread, ice cream, dairy products, meat products, jams, jellies, and beverages. Click for more info about xanthan gum food additive.

2. What is the harm of xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is a legal additive with high safety. Although it has no nutrition, it is not harmful to people after ingestion. It will basically not be absorbed by the body but will be excreted from the body with normal excretion.

In terms of its classification, xanthan gum is divided according to two standards: industrial purity for printing and dyeing and edible purity. Industrial xanthan gum usually has low purity and many impurities, which will naturally cause certain harm. Although thickeners are typically used to reduce production costs, there is still the possibility of price deception.  A small amount of Xanthan gum jelly mixed in food is basically harmless to the human body. But if you eat too much, it will undoubtedly endanger human health. So, how much xanthan gum does the merchant add to the porridge? This is the key issue.

Experts remind us that it is actually very simple to distinguish whether rice porridge has thickeners.  If the porridge is cooked purely with rice, it will have a strong rice aroma. The taste will not be particularly smooth, and the color of the porridge will appear cloudy and whitish because of the rice soup. If thickeners are added, the cooked porridge will not have the fragrance of rice. Instead, it will taste smooth, and the porridge will be transparent.

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