Xanthan gum is a basically food additive as prepared by fermentation oaf simple sugars with a specific bacterial type. In food items it acts like a thickener or as a stabilizer. Other than foods, xanthan gum is also used in toothpaste and wallpaper glue.
About Xanthan Gum
Sugar, when fermented by Xanthomonas campestris, creates a broth like texture that is solidified with the help of alcohol. When xanthan gum is added in a liquid it results in a viscous solution. Thus it helps it to working as a thickening as well as a stabilizing agent in various types of products.
While in the intestine, it swells up and boosts up the intestine for the movement of stool. It also slows down sugar absorption.
In which items can you find Xanthan Gum? This gum plays multidimensional role. It is used for industrial production, food items as well as in personal care products.
1. Food Items
It is mainly found in bakery goodies, salad dressings, ice creams, fruit juices, sauces, gluten free and similar sorts of products. It is used for the betterment of shelf life, flavour, texture and consistency of foods. It maintains the pH levels and help the foods to sustain in various temperatures.
2. Personal Care
It is commonly found in toothpaste, creams, shampoos and lotions. It maintains the consistency as well as the smoothness of the products.
3. Industrial Products
Again for its pH and temperature sustenance capacity it is widely used in paints, adhesives as well as insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers.
Utilities and Role of Xanthan Gum
• It helps to deal with constipation.
• Xanthan gum is believed to reduce or stabilize blood sugar level. Though sufficient evidences are unavailable in this regard.
• Certain research results show the higher consumption of xanthan gum reduces cholesterol levels to some extent.
• People suffering from dry mouth can have xanthan as a substitute of saliva.
• It also acts like a laxative as it swells in intestine helping in gastrointestinal activities.
• Other than mouth sometimes throats also become dry as an effect of certain diseases. Xanthan gum helps in swallowing of foods.
Reactions and Precautions
• Xanthan gum must not be consumed by those suffering from nausea, appendicitis, irregular bowel movement, vomiting as it may worsen their problems.
• If you are pregnant or breast feeding then stay away from xanthan gum. As whether it is safe to have during pregnancy or breast feeding months is yet to be proved.
• Allergic people also must be careful about this.
• Those who are frequently suffering from diarrhoea or gastrointestinal issues are advised not to have xanthan gum as it binds with digestive tract. This may worsen the situation.
People who are not so aware about xanthan gum may find this article helpful. Those who are allergic to xanthan gum may try substitutes like psyllium.