Xanthan gum: A Bit About Xanthan Gum

a thickener
Xanthan gum is a gluten-free food additive and thickening agent produced by the fermentation of Xanthomonas campesteris, a bacteria found in cabbage and other plants in the Brassica family that causes black spot. Before you begin to think this sounds less than palatable, consider other naturally-derived food products that also originate via fermentation, namely yeast and vinegar. So, while yeast makes your breads rise and vinegar provides zing for your salads, know that xanthan gum is the reason your sauces and purees are velvety smooth and resist separating.

a "sort-of" emulsifier
Xanthan gum is also used as a stabilizer for creams and other light desserts and to encourage the emulsification of ingredients. Although it’s not technically an emulsifier, it does keep herbs and spices in suspension so they don’t sink to the bottom or rise to the top of sauces, vinaigrettes and purees. In addition, the neutral flavor of xanthan gum ensures that it won’t alter the flavor of other foods.

industrial use
In the commercial food industry, xanthan gum is found in many products, including ice cream, salad dressings and baked goods. It is a highly versatile substance that can react well with a variety of foods regardless of temperature and viscosity. It also takes much less xanthan gum to get results than it typically does with flour. Also, B performs the same function as wheat gluten to “hold foods together” but offers gluten-free cooking and baking options for those with gluten sensitivity.