Xanthan gum is a flavorless thickener found in various culinary and commercial products. It’s a microbial polysaccharide made by the bacteria Xanthomonas campest is through natural fermentation. It’s frequently used in gluten-free baking to substitute gluten’s sticky effect. To know best uses of xantham gum for cooking, read further.
In addition to thickening, xanthan gum aids in the suspension of solid particles, which is beneficial in goods such as bottled salad dressing. It gives a food an even texture and consistency and improves mouthfeel. Xanthan gum is a thickening and stabilizing agent for soymilk-based rice milk-based sauces, soups, and nondairy ice creams that can be purchased for home use.
Xantham Gum Nutrition Fact
5 Uses of Xantham Gum for Cooking
Xanthan gum is a common food additive found in various foods and beverages. The bacteria strain Xanthomonas campestris produces this thickening, stabilizing, emulsion, and suspension agent by fermenting simple carbohydrates.
When cooking with xanthan gum, high-accuracy weighing scales and a chemistry spatula are recommended, as most molecular recipes call for minimal, precise amounts ranging from 0.5 to 5% by weight. Both hot and cold sauces can be thickened and emulsified with xanthan gum, which can be reheated after each usage. When making gluten-free dough, Xanthan gum is generally mixed with flour at the dry ingredient stage.
Xanthan gum has no discernible flavor. However, it can be used to bind anything from a parsley sauce to a sabayon or sorrel and cucumber juice, depending on the texture.
It’s common to use a binding agent in gluten-free baked goods to make them taste, look, and feel like their regular counterparts. Gluten is a natural binder in traditional flours that allows the dough to stretch, roll, bend, and be molded.
When employed in gluten-free baking, xanthan gum gives doughs and mixes elasticity and stickiness. Your cakes, bread, and crusts may disintegrate if you don’t utilize xanthan gum as a binder.
Xanthan gum is a “thickener,” meaning it raises the viscosity of a liquid. It’s ideal for thickening liquids to turn them into tasty sauces. Xanthan gum can be used for slight gravy thickening to make extremely thick syrups. The texture of sauces thickened this way is comparable to that of decreased liquid or fatty sauces. It improves flavor and clinginess, which aids in adhesion of liquids to food.
Gelatin is a product made from collagen that is commonly used as a gelling agent in meals, and it can also be used as a thickener, texturizer, and stabilizer. Anyone who lives a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle should avoid gelatin and gelatin-containing goods. In many cases, xanthan gum can be used in place of gelatin to thicken and stabilize recipes.
While xanthan gum is not an emulsifier, it stabilizes emulsions and helps to avoid oil separation. Because of this, it’s a common addition to salad dressings. Oil and vinegar would usually separate under normal circumstances, but xanthan gum prevents this. It also aids in the suspension of spices and flavors.
Smoother Ice Cream
Small amounts of xanthan gum can be added to ice cream to prevent the production of ice crystals, resulting in a smoother, creamier texture. Using heavy cream makes the ice cream taste richer and higher in fat, making xanthan gum an excellent addition to nondairy ice creams such as soy, almond, or coconut milk. Xanthan gum aids in the consistency of vegan ice cream emulating traditional ice cream.
Is Xanthan Gum Safe to Consume?
Xanthan gum is entirely safe to eat in tiny amounts. If you consume more than 15 grams, you may experience digestive discomfort similar to that experienced from overeating fruit. 2 Most people, on the other hand, do not consume nearly as much xanthan gum in a day.
Xanthan gum is manufactured from corn or soy, which may cause allergic reactions in certain people. Because of the extraction method, only trace amounts of leftover proteins from the fermentation sources should be present. These may still be a source of concern for allergic persons, although xanthan gum is likely to be free of these allergens. While allergic reactions to xanthan gum are infrequent, you may wish to avoid it if you are extremely sensitive to the base chemicals. Guar gum or locust bean gum are two other thickeners to consider.
If you inhale xanthan gum powder (which is not suggested), you may develop respiratory flu-like symptoms.
Black rot can be caused by the bacteria that make xanthan gum in crops like broccoli and cauliflower. On the other hand, the xanthan gum is sterile and will not harm your garden.
How is Xanthan Gum Produced?
Allene Rosalind Jeanes, a distinguished researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, discovered xanthan gum and was developed for commercial use. In 1968, the FDA declared it a safe food additive.
Natural fermentation of corn, soy, wheat, or cabbage produces xanthan gum.
These veggies’ sugars are digested by bacteria, which produces a complicated sugar polymer. Alcohol is added to make it drop out of the solution. After drying, the xanthan gum is ground into a powder utilized in food and other products.
What is the Best Way to Add Xanthan Gum to a Liquid?
It can hydrate and disperse at any temperature, and it does so rapidly, making it one of the few substances you may add slowly and see the results right away. Because xanthan gum has a neutral flavor, it blends nicely with food without disguising its flavor.
In most circumstances, I like to use an immersion blender to add xanthan gum to the liquid and then blend or whisk it until it is entirely blended. You can also improve xanthan gum dispersion by combining it with sugar first then adding it to the liquid. Make a slurry out of flour and cold water before adding it to the gravy to prevent clumping. The sugar will inhibit the xanthan gum from hydrating until it has distributed sufficiently in the liquid to reduce the sugar percent.
Xanthan gum can be used in almost any liquid at any temperature. However, if the beverage is delightful, it may have difficulty hydrating. It should function great if the sugar content is less than 55 percent to 60 percent.
Xantham gum is a great thickening agent that can help with various cooking projects. It is also a valuable ingredient for ice cream, sauces, and mayonnaise. Its high viscosity makes it perfect for preventing separation and is a popular alternative to flour. A powdered xantham gum is not only beneficial for cooking but can also add a touch of health benefits.
Aside from being gluten-free, xanthan gum is also vegan. While gelatin is a meat product, xanthan gum is produced from corn sugar. Both products are used in food preparation, and the latter has many benefits that make it a popular choice. Among these is the ability to thicken liquids, stabilize emulsions, and reduce the pH level of foods.