Natural thickener derived from glucose via fermentation often used to stabilize emulsions and thicken sauces and drinks.
Xanthan gum belongs to the hydrocolloid family, and like each member of this family, its molecules must have time to hydrate after having been dissolved. This hydration period allows water to penetrate inside hydrocolloid molecules, which then facilitate reactions as they are surrounded by water and suspended in the solvent. Hydration can be done equally well in a hot or cold liquid. Heat only slightly alters the thickening effect of xanthan gum once the product has cooled, but its viscosity is temporarily decreased during the process. This additive also tolerates a wide range of pH and the presence of salts and alcohol up to 60%, but it is best to complete the hydration phase before these additions.
Did you know?
- Xanthan gum causes a noticeable increase in viscosity at concentrations as low as 1%.
- It prevents the formation of ice crystals in ice cream and increases the moisture and volume of gluten-free bakery products.
- It provides a high-fat mouth feel in many light sauces, milkshakes and dips.
- It is a common ingredient in fake blood recipes.