Xanthan gum, a versatile ingredient discovered in the mid-20th century, has become a staple in modern cooking and food production. This unique polysaccharide, derived from the fermentation of simple sugars by Xanthomonas campestris bacteria, is recognized for its exceptional thickening and stabilizing properties. It is characterized by its fine, white powder appearance and its ability to dissolve in both hot and cold water, making it incredibly user-friendly.
Xanthan gum's culinary applications are as diverse as they are crucial. Its power to enhance the texture and viscosity of food is highly regarded in the world of baking, especially in gluten-free recipes where it compensates for the lack of gluten's binding and structure-forming properties. It ensures a uniform distribution of ingredients in salad dressings, prevents ice crystals in ice creams, and even contributes to the perfect, syrupy consistency in sauces and gravies.
However, xanthan gum's versatility extends far beyond the realm of food. It is also found in personal care products, like toothpaste and cosmetics, due to its excellent binding and emulsifying characteristics. In the industrial sector, it’s used in oil drilling fluids owing to its high viscosity. All in all, xanthan gum, though perhaps not a household name, plays an integral role in many aspects of our daily lives.
Botanical Name: Xanthomonas campestris
Also known as: Xanthan Gum, Bacterial Polysaccharide, Corn Sugar Gum, Goma Xantana, Gomme de Sucre de Maïs, Gomme de Xanthane, Gomme Xanthane, Polysaccharide Bactérien, Polysaccharide de Type Xanthane, Polysaccharide Xanthane, Xanthan, Xanthomonas campestris