10 Facts about Xanthan Gum, a very popular food additive

Have you heard of xanthan gum, one of the 30 most popular ingredients used in food products? You’ll find it in salad dressings, sauces, ice cream and also gluten free foods. What is xanthan gum, and why is it such a popular ingredient?

What you need to know:

1. Xanthan Gum is made by fermenting corn sugar with a bacteria, Xanthomonas campestris. It’s the same bacteria that creates black spots on broccoli and cauliflower. The result is a slimy goo that is then dried up and ground into a fine white powder.

2. Xanthan gum is an emulsifier. It helps ingredients blend more effectively and stay blended while waiting on a shelf. For example – water and oil mixtures, as well as bits of spice in a salad dressing.

3. Xanthan gum is also used as a thickener. Add a bit to water and it becomes more viscous. Many fat free salad dressing maintain and oily viscosity by using thickeners such as xanthan gum. In pastry fillings, it prevents the water seeping out and soaking the dough, thus protecting the crispness of the crust.

4. Xanthan gum is used in ice creams as well to prevent the formation of ice crystals and keep the product “smooth”.

5. Xanthan gum has become popular in the gluten free circles. It helps give the dough a sticky consistency.

6. Only a small amount of xanthan gum is necessary to achieve the desired result, usually less than 0.5% of the food product weight.

7. When mixed with guar gum or locust bean gum, the viscosity is more than when either one is used alone, so less of each can be used.

8. Nutritionally, xanthan gum is a carbohydrate with 7 grams of fiber per tablespoon. This may cause bloating in some people.

9. Xanthan gum may be derived from a variety of sources such as corn, wheat, or soy.  People with an allergy to one of the above, need to avoid foods with xanthan gum, or to ascertain the source.

10. Xanthan Gum was “discovered” by a team of USDA researchers in the 1960′s. In 1968 it was approved for use as a food additive in the US and Europe.

What to do at the supermarket:

So is Xanthan Gum safe to consume or not?  It’s perfectly safe to consume if you don’t have any allergy issues as mentioned above. However, most people wouldn’t prepare a salad dressing at home with xanthan gum, nor add it to a pastry filling. When you see xanthan gum labeled on products at the supermarket, you realize that you are buying an industrial processed product. In this case the health/nutrition consequences are minimal, but check what other, more sinister additives are lurking in the product as well.

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  • http://foodtrainers.blogspot.com Lauren Slayton

    Ooh and what are Fooducate’s thoughts on xantham gum? I’m craving a bottom line.
    Interesting info.

  • Nicole

    So, if one is trying to avoid corn (to avoid GMO corn & the like)then we need to also avoid this in our food. Lovely. Yet another ingredient to look out for. I am buying less packaged food nowadays anyway, but geez… this will shrink the list again.

    • Laurel Cox

      I am struggling too! I cant find any organic salad dressings with out xanthan gum in there. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for any suggestions.

      • cheetah

        make your own

      • Bonnie

        Our Lord said, my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Thank you so much! With your comment re the salad dressing. We had what I thought to be a nice “organic” ginger salad dressing which I pulled from the fridge to read the label again, only to see that “yes,” it too has xanthum gum, so it is on it’s way to the trash can, where it belongs! Our Lord said seek and ye shall find, so I thank all of you for your comments, as the lesson is: If a product has many “organic” items on the label and “one” or more synthetics don’t buy it as “a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” A little poison spoils the good. We are reminded that Satan walks to and fro seeking whom he may devour, yet we are becoming wise to his devices. We also use a Green Wise “Organic Balsamic Vinegar” (nice and sweet and oh so good) which has two ingredients: Organic red wine vinegar and organic grape musts.” Thank you again and have a blessed day!

    • mpritch

      From Bob’s Red Mill Blog–”6/11/12 UPDATE: Regarding corn in xanthan gum: The microorganism that produces xanthan gum is actually fed a glucose solution that is derived from wheat starch. Gluten is found in the protein part of the wheat kernel and no gluten is contained in the solution of glucose. Additionally, after the bacteria eats the glucose, there is no wheat to be found in the outer coating that it produces, which is what makes up xanthan gum. The short answer here is, there is no corn used at all in the making of xanthan gum.”

  • http://landanimal.wordpress.com Joanna @ landanimal.wordpress.com

    I try to eat clean and natural–for what it and those terms are worth–and this stuff just doesn’t sound good to me.

  • http://killgiada.blogspot.com APC

    Oh wow, I had no idea it was a ferment! Or even from relatively organic sources. I always thought it was one of those molecular gastronomy ingredients from the future. Musta been the ‘X’ =P

  • http://www.nibblesnbites.com Scraps

    I’ve used this recently for making my own ice cream and the texture it adds is actually really nice (and, yes, it says right on the package what it’s origin is). In the ice cream it’s great, but the slimy texture of the fat-free salad dressing (an accidental purchase–never again!) is very unpleasant.

  • Melissa

    Interesting. But few other products help keep gluten-free baked goods from crumbling. And because I’ve had to give up so many foods since being diagnosed with Celiac disease, I won’t lose too much sleep over using this product — even though that first fact is kinda nasty.

    • Brenda Arsenault Pelletier

      I agree…it’s also what rises the dough… yeast FARTS…. Yum…. everyone eating that yeast bread are enjoying farts…. now That’s Nasty! lol

      • WvanV

        This comment makes me think you are under 12 and therefore it’s hard to take your messages seriously.

  • http://www.lovehealthyliving.net Carrie

    Yeah, so is it good or bad? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

    • Inge

       I just saw a cake being made where xantham gum was added. My question is can you bake the cake without adding this ingredient?

      • Teresa

        From what I’ve seen, most — if not all — cake mixes include xanthan gum. The only way to make a cake without it is to bake from scratch.

        On the upside — there’s just no way a cake mix can compare with the real thing for taste. Top it with Seven Minute Frosting and people will rave about your cakes for years to come:

        I got this from an 1960s Betty Crocker cookbook, but you can also find it here:
        http://allrecipes.com/recipe/seven-minute-frosting-ii-2/

        • http://www.facebook.com/coolhandmeg Megan Leonard

          I know the idea of xanthan gum and its origin seems kind of gross, but I’m trying to follow a paleo diet and cut out all grains — for health, not due to any type of gluten intolerance. I miss toast with my eggs, so I’ve been trying to come up with a substitute using almond or coconut flour. I just tried xanthan gum in a recipe this weekend and was amazed with the sticky consistency of the dough. Its addition made the recipe much more like a yeast dough, and a crispier toast in the end. You can definitely see how the gum works as a wheat gluten substitute, though I realize some people are also sensitive to this substance. For those who aren’t, I think it’s a very valuable tool in grain-free baking. You also only have to use a tablespoon or less per loaf, so I wouldn’t be too scared off from it. I’ve bought some arrowroot and guar gum to try as well, but xanthan gum was less expensive and the first one I tried. I was really impressed.

          • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

            Thanks for that interesting advice Megan!

        • Nikki

          for some of us diagnosed with Celiac, baking a traditional cake from scratch and eating it is impossible. since gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley, we need substitutions for those ingredients. Xanthan gum makes the dough, or batter, act like it has gluten in it by keeping it’s shape and rising in the oven

          • Lori

            Unfortunately, we can’t just go by symptoms anymore when it comes to gluten intolerance. In fact, those people who have symptoms (i.e. sensitivity or worse) may be the lucky ones, because they have a great reason to stop all gluten. Hidden health risks to gluten ingestion can include neurological issues — like MS (multiple sclerosis), which very few people know about. As for Xanthum Gum, I had no idea it could be GMO until I went to an event for “Yes on Prop 37.” I am going to see if I can find GMO-free Xanthum Gum for the rare occasions that I make my homemade gluten cupcakes. I was using Xanthum Gum from Authentic Foods, but now I’m realizing that I have no idea what their source is! That may explain why I’d feel less than perfect after eating my cupcakes. Although, I thought maybe it was because I ate too many, because they were so good. In the meantime, I’ve now discovered that Whole Foods almond milk has xanthum gum in it, and so does Pacific foods Hemp milk. Both of which I was drinking. Now that I know that carrageenan, which is in many of the other nut milk products, might cause digestive issues and cancer, I’m going to have to rethink. The investigation continues.

          • Mel

            Actually, xanthan gum should not be considered GMO. The bacteria, Xanthomonas campestris, ferments a sugar, usually glucose, fructose or lactose, into a larger polysaccharide (carbohydrate) product. This bacteria is not genetically modified. The glucose or sucrose substrate may be from GM corn or wheat, but structurally and chemically is the same as glucose or sucrose from non-GM corn or wheat. The glucose is purified and isolated from the original corn or wheat kernels and does not contain any DNA or protein residues. Compare xanthan gum production to your own body synthesizing ATP, the energy molecule for ALL of your cells. ATP is made from glucose. Glucose is the end product from digestion of carbohydrates in food that we eat. Your cells take up glucose and use it to synthesize ATP. What if the source of those food carbohydrates is from GM-corn or wheat or soy? Would you now say that your body’s ATP is GMO? Don’t think so. As far as using xanthan gum in food prep–the amounts used are very small. It has been used in many products for many years, with no harmful effects (based on scientific evidence, not anecdotal or opinion). I wouldn’t spend any more brainpower worrying about it :)

          • christopher ferrin

            I haven’t the time to read every comment BUT from what I have read a lot of people are demonizing Xanthan Gum instead of corperations that are selling unclean foods. I am looking at a product that is labeled “Gluten Free” and is certified “NON-GMO” but contains Xantan Gum as an ingrediant! I am no food expert however I follow a strictly vegan and mostly orgaic diet and I am always watching and researching ingrediants. What truly matters more than the relative safety of the ingrediants is HOW MUCH YOU TRUST THE COMPANY that makes the product you are consuming. Its not what you know but who you know!

          • christopher ferrin

            Interestingly enough a quick google search for “bobo’s oat bars” brought up the fact that they were sent a letter from the FDA in 2010 concerning an inspection in which multiple violations were observed including non food grade appliances, improper disposal of waste, washing of equipment without soap and the ever so famous rat sh!t throughout the facility. It apears the FDA did issue a closing letter stating they have corrected these issues but the fact remains and it seems to me that the owner is or was concerned about making money instead of providing quality products. Thankfully I did not eat the alleged “BOBO’S *RAT BAR”(play on spelling I hope someone gets it). I will be returning the prodcut in hopes of finding an fully organic certified alternative.

  • Jason

    So is the corn sugar mentioned here really HFCS?

    • Js777

      I wouldn’t think so, likely they are speaking of dextrose which is corn sugar/pure glucose.

  • Grant

    As a sufferer of Coeliac disease my diet would have less variety of taste and texture as it would be devoid of decent baked goods. Are we labelling this food bad just because it’s a sugar fermented by bacteria? Even done on an industrial scale? Do we classify natural yoghurt as bad for the same reason?

    • Brenda Arsenault Pelletier

      If Its genetically modified Soy, wheat or Corn as the source, then YES, It is Bad for us. Seeds are sold that have been GMO. Even if the seed is grown in an organic matter, it is STILL Genetically Modified Food.

      • EducateYourself

        GMO products are not inherently bad for anyone. It’s not like they’re radioactive or mutagenic or sterilize US.

        • Eloise Taesali

          GMO are bad for humans and the earth. They are not natural or ever meant to be. We should not eat them, ever.

          • Brendo

            GMO are foods whose natural selection process is sped up so that we can get the best food. This could happen in nature but it would take a lot longer to complete because it would be random. It is just speeding up the process and it is not harmful. It simply selects the best qualities and puts them together. People have been selectively breeding food since the beginning of crop cultivation. Look at food 100 years ago and you will realize that the food you are eating right now has already been modified. I only eat organic meats and try to do the same with fruits and vegetables (There really isn’t any pesticides left in them, I have done labs in college testing the difference). People should worry about eating processed foods because those are what really kill you in the end, refined sugar is the biggest toxin in the United States by far. If it doesn’t come from the ground spit it out.

          • Eloise Taesali

            Scientists have genetically implanted cells from completely different plants and animals (including, bacteria) into our food, so it is NOT something that would have happened in nature ever; no matter how long earth may exist. Scientists are just beginning to understand nutrition. I don’t believe that they have enough information to fiddle around with our food on such a grand scale. Agreed, there are far more GMO’s in processed foods. Those “food like substances” should not be ingested by the public or farm animals.

          • whatsyouragenda?

            you have confused one issue… that genetically modified food is and has been the mainstay to crop creating… it is in the last few decades that gene splicing different kingdoms has been the “unnatural linecrossing” of what has proven to be the difference between a few grains of corn on the stalk and big fat, full ears.

            Bacteria is perfectly natural. Crossing complex plant and animal kingdoms in a cellular is not,

          • Josh

            That’s the problem. The “best qualities ” aren’t what looks good in a supermarket or to out naked eye. These so called best qualities may have unforeseen and unknown consequences that may be not be so good in natural terms …

        • Brenda Arsenault Pelletier
          • EducateYourself

            So you’re saying that anything treated with chemical herbicides is genetically modified? Not true. Most herbicides – and other topical application chemicals used commercially- are NOT mutagenic (meaning “change-genes”)

          • whatsyouragenda?

            so many opinions,. so little facts… must be exhausting trying to educate the masses

          • Desal Niettemin

            You do know that every grain is gmo right? The seeds used to be so small that the wind blew the seeds away. These seeds where worthless to humans so they plucked only the big ones. Now al these grains can never survive without human hand. Milk cows same thing. That its changed by human hand, doesnt mean its bad. It depends what product we are talking about and how they changed it.

  • WF

    This article is slightly misleading if you think that xanthan gum is a type of modified corn sugar. The fact is, xanthan gum is simply a type of complex carbohydrate that this specific type of bacteria makes as it grows. The bacteria grows on a sugar source (it could any of a variety of simple sugars). As the organism grows, it metabolizes the simple sugar into a more complex form, which we know as xanthan gum.

    This bacteria makes xanthan gum in a similar way that humans consume sugars and make glycogen. Xanthan gum is a type of complex carb that is a storage form of energy for the bacteria, and it happens to have some interesting properties that have uses in foods.

  • candice

    Sweet, ths actually makes me want to go out and buy Xanthan gum for my pies and salad dressing. The article is a little vague on their position on the substance, but I think it’s purpose was to inform the readers, not pursuade either way. As consumers we have the right to know…we are just too lazy half the time to actually research for ourselves. Thanks Fooducate for all the leg work you do!!

    • karen

      ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE: Cheeses and buttermilk Penicillin is also derived from molds/fungi and is used to make antibiotics. It’s benefits far outweigh the risks for those who are not allergic to it. I think this is also similar to using Xanthan gum.

  • http://www.jollytomato.com Jeanne @JollyTomato

    Thanks for posting this – I know I (and many others) have always wondered about xanthan gum. I’ve seen a few recipes that call for it, but I don’t think I’d ever use enough to justify going out to buy a half-pound bag!

    FYI – I included it in Jolly Tomato’s Friday food news round-up: http://bit.ly/9TW6Ei

  • Lorraine

    Xanthan gum is NOT gluten free. Corn as well as ALL grains contain gluten protein in some form. Those who believe that some grains are gluten free are going by very old info. Dr. Peter Osborne is one of the few people in the gluten free community that knows and teaches that.

    http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/video-tutorial/gluten-sensitivity-what-is-it/

    • Marsha

      Corn doesn’t have gluten

    • Marsha

      Corn Gluten – Is it Safe for a People with Celiac Disease Who are on …
      http://www.celiac.com › Gluten-Free Grains and Flours
      Jul 26, 1996 – Corn may contain prolamins, as does wheat, but not gluten. … is like gluten prepared from a wheat flour dough, which has an unusual, perhaps …

    • Mel

      xanthan gum is a carbohydrate, gluten is a protein. Educate yourself before you speak.

      • Yummy Gummy!

        People can be wrong… including yourself… I’m sure we can inform each other respectfully!

        • Bob643

          But he isn’t wrong.

  • Dwight

    I have ben having flu like symptoms that last 2 or 3 days about every week now I have
    found that it is the Xantan gum in the food that I eat that is making me sick.

    • Lauren

      Hi Dwight! Meeee too! This stuff is the devil! This is the third time I’ve gotten a cold(with major congestion, sore throat, chill,etc) right after eating foods with this stuff. Coconut ice-cream, This Chili sauce stuff, and cream of coconut. I thought I was the only one with thisccrazy reaction.

      • Eerie

        try eating yogurt after, it’s probably your body reacting to the substance due to it being a bacteria of sorts. The good bacterias in yogurt should counteract it :)

  • guest

    If I eat any foods with xanthan gum I get horrible migraine headaches. It makes me feel like I have been poisoned. My digestive tract totally stops working and I cannot keep anything down, even water. If you have migraines you might avoid this substance.

    • Teresa

      I’m also severely allergic to xanthan gum. For the last four years I was sure that gluten was the problem, and the reason I also reacted to so many foods that don’t list gluten on the label — vanilla ice cream, cream cheese — was because of the hidden gluten.

      I’ve been eating only low carb, gluten free, made from scratch cooking for a while now, but decided to try my hand at gluten free baking for Christmas. And got horribly sick. On the upside, I found out about the xanthan gum.

      One word of advice — xanthan gum and gar gum can be used interchangeably. So if you’re sensitive to xanthan, be careful of gar gum products too.

      • Mel

        Interesting! Have you found out what is is about xanthan gum that makes you allergic to it?

      • Lundy

        Just found your post, thank goodness. I have been having the digestive shutdown problem. As I work in engineering the issue with digestion could just be the mechanical thing I think, xg and other guns stabilise powders, fluids etc by absorbing some of the water, rather like adding glue. Unfortunately, if they do this in your gut, water that would normally help your normal digestive transit is used up in the process and constipation can result. I don’t know why they cause migraines but I do know others who mention this as a problem.

      • Bob643

        While you may be sensitive to xanthan gum, you are most certainly not allergic to xanthan gum since it is not a protein and contains no proteins and one can only be allergic to proteins.

  • Goody

    Normally, people are allergic to the proteins of a substance. I’m violently allergic to thr protein in corn, but not the sugar.

  • jess

    Personally, I love the last sentence in this article…”….check what other, more sinister additives are lurking in the product..”. That statement makes me feel much better about the food that I buy at the market for my family to consume. Ack, no wonder we have a world full of ppl with ADHD and what not!!!!!

    • Debbie Woodward Norton Newton

      Sadly, the “sinister additives” are there and we all need to read labels, question companies and do our best to make them know that we don’t want this. It takes me a long time to shop these days….I read, put back, read, put back….read, find GMO-free, organic, and BUY. Otherwise, I substitute. It sucks but I feel better about eating the food I pay so much FOR!!

  • grannie

    I think that anything we eat can be made to SEEM bad, I am not getting what is bad except the gluten allergy thing. So what is the point of your article?

    • Bonnie

      It is not of God!

      • Enough!

        Are you really that delusional to believe the nonsense you are spewing? XG is produced by a naturally occurring microbe not synthesized in a lab by corporate evil-doers. Do you eat cheese? It’s a by product of microbes as well. If you get sick do you not take medicine? Of course not because that’s “not of God” either right. If god wanted you to survive that breast cancer you developed he would’ve made a chemotherapy tree right? It’s just your sort of shortsighted narrow minded babbling that give Christians a bad image. God bless you.

  • John

    Forgot to mention that xanthum gum is almost always GMO because it is made from corn sweetener or corn starch which are almost always GMO in the USA. So this material is always high GMO risk.

    • Mel

      See my post below to Lori. Not sure what you mean by “high GMO risk”? Sounds like a scare tactic. The sugars synthesized in corn are not genetically modified. Also, sugar is a molecule of mainly carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms in varying amounts and arrangements. There is no DNA, or genetic material, in the sugar.

      • Chemicalsfreefoodie

        Eating molecules? I don’t like the sound if that.

        • leila

          oh dear. i hope you’re joking. you *are* molecules. and you eat and breathe them every day.

          • cate

            I eat molecules, but I’ve trained my body to utilize only the electrons, eliminate the protons & neutrons. Helps keep my weight under control

          • Bob643

            Sadly I suspect he/she is not joking.

      • Alex Curly

        The thing is that by buying the stuff produced using GMO corn you are contributing to the GMO industry. No one quite knows the implications of GMO so I wouldn’t be so fippant about it. In my opinion, once the genome has been modified and that plant is allowed to pollinate other plants in the wild. There is no turning back. So, without knowing the consequences of GMO I will be avoiding them as much as possible. Luckily here in Europe we haven’t been quite so quick to take up GMO production although our government is now pushing for us to be more accomodating. I hope this doesn’t happen like the way the US government seem to allow Monsanto to experiment on their own people.

  • ike

    It scares me to think all the junk we are eating . We should avoid all processed food as much as possible . The food industry is out to make a profit . We need to be very cautious of the junk they are trying to sell us . Our health depends on it.

  • zia

    unfortunately, if it isn’t organic, the corn sugar is gmo.

    • Robbyn

      There’s a vast difference between Organic and non-GMO products…please make sure you fully understand both terms before you jump the anti-bandwagon…

      • jonnny

        Organic has to be non-GMO. I have never seen a product labeled non-GMO that wasnt also organic, tho its possible. If the package does not say organic and does not say non-GMO, then it is for sure using GMO corn.

        • Meena Yusuf

          Not true. There are organic seedless watermelons and seedless grapes. Anything seedless is GMO.

          • mmunch

            Not true. Seedless fruit are often made by crossing two different ploidy levels, such as a diploid which has 2 sets of genes with a tetraploid which has 4 sets of genes. The offspring are sterile, thus fruit with no seeds. GMO refers specifically to taking genes from one genus and inserting them into a different genus. Bananas and watermelon have been seedless far longer than we’ve had the technology to move genes between species.

          • Robbyn

            Seedless doesn’t mean GMO either – like “mmunch” said – sterile flora has been recorded centuries before we had the tech to genetically modify plants and crops…

            On that note – I suggest reading up on what Biotechnology really is…where it stems from and how it have developed since HUmanity began…

            As I said – please make sure you understand the technology before jumping on the anti-bandwagon that is the nonsense beliefs of people unwilling to learn…

            GMO’s aren’t the issue…the bigger issue is the manipulation and control of the technology by the Monopoly Coprs…

            The concept of cross-genetics comes from studying bacterial species…most, if not all, are able to take up “free-living” DNA or use specific methods to share genes between cells…we’ve adapted plasmid technology to allow us to create drought tolerant and salt tolerant crops – increasing the range at which we can cultivate crops…some companies take it further by placing vitamine genes from one fruit into another – because we lack vitamines thanks to the chemicals we’ve been using before GMO’s were designed…

            Also – I’ve never heard of anyone getting ill or diseased from a GMO product…all hear-say and speculation…NONE have ever been recorded as evidence…

            Befor you (or anyone here) counter(s) me on that – read the right stuff…the “internet” is NOT a source…dites like GMWatch is NOT a good reference either…Google Scholar is a good place to begin researching the truths behind GMO’s…

  • Lundy

    It is important that people understand that some adults and children are also sensitive to xantham gum because it causes bloating or constipation. Although this seems counterintuitive (it contains fibre) it is primarily a thickening agent and for this reason can slow digestive transit by absorbing water. I had terrible gut problems after committing to a completely gluten free diet and am now avoiding xg. But a, warning, it is everywhere! Toothpaste is a sneaky one..

  • Thomas DeWoody

    Slimy goo? Cut me a slice of that!

  • Keleia

    I have a Colophony Allergy, and Xanthan Gum is definitely one of the most frustrating things for me, because manufacturers put this in everything these days. I cannot chew gum, enjoy most drink mixes, cosmetics, etc. It just isn’t worth it for me to ingest or use makeup that has these ingredients. I must check labels and educate myself otherwise I suffer extreme allergic reactions. Great article, though!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacqueline.adkins.7 Jacqueline Adkins

    I like to use it as a thickener for my homemade hand wash I use

  • T

    I avoid Xanthum Gum at all costs. I removed gluten, wheat, soy and corn to some degree, from my diet because of arthritis-type joint swelling. Xanthum Gum is in many processed food products, salad dressings and sauces, and it causes me the same serious joint swelling (knees in particular) as those ingredients I’d removed from my diet. I find that Corn Starch causes me the same problems – another common filler. Yes, it is common in many processed foods and manufacturers consider it filler and harmless. Not so.

  • Alyssa

    Thanks Fooducate, this is great information!

  • sb

    Xanthan gum can cause symptoms just like having eaten gluten. It’s gross, and I avoid it entirely. We call xanthan sensitivity “gummy tummy.”

  • blr

    flaxseed meal seems to make a decent substitute for xanthan gum. it has the same kind of “binding” effect as xg in gluten free baking and it’s nutritious. I’m new to gluten-free baking, but have had decent luck so far.

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  • Alie J

    GMO is often more healthy because farmers don’t need to use as many pesticides. We’ve been generically modifying organisms for millennia by selective breeding, it’s just an extra level of precision.

    Xanthan gum is a good source of dietary fibre and can be blended with smoothies/shakes which is handy if you’re on an all liquid diet for medical reasons. It’s true too much can cause bloating and it can also make shakes too thick and slimy if you use a lot.

    • Alex Curly

      I hope you are joking. The age old practice of genetic selection which you refer to as ‘generic modification’ goes along with nature’s own methods of manipulating the gene pool known as natural selection. Synthetic Genetic Modification in a laboratory is quite different and often uses animal genes injected directly into the genome of plants…!

      The industry would love you to believe that GMO will require less pesticides. It’s a big fat lie!! GMO corn is designed to produce it’s own pesticides. It is also designed to be resistant to pesticides. Why would they do this if they are going to need less pesticides? Surely the plants would only need to be MORE pesticide resistant if they are going to use MORE pesticides.

      Also, no one knows the long term consequences of allowing GMO into the environment. Once the genome has been modified and those plants are allowed to pollinate plants in the wild and on other farms there really is not turning back…

      Please read: http://www.naturalnews.com/031105_genetically_modified_GMO.html

      • Alie J

        No serious. I didn’t say they weren’t any disadvantages to GMO, just that eating GM food doesn’t pose any health risks.

        • Rand0Mone

          I believe it is way too soon to know whether or not GMO products pose health risks. It could take decades before we begin to see and understand the symptoms. Research is sometimes skewed by corporate dollars. It will take world-wide collaboration before we really know. In my opinion, all GMO products should be *clearly* labeled as such, because I want the choice.

    • Bonnie

      Our Lord said, let no man deceive you by any means and Christ said, I give unto you every green herb. If it is from God without mankind’s tampering it is good, otherwise “run!”

    • http://Www.cravenfanatic.com/ Cathy

      Do you understand that the insecticides are actually part of the GMO food? And, yes, they actually spray heavily with herbicide (Roundup) to kill the weeds, because the corn, soy, or other GMO plant will not die from it. That means the GMO vegetation has pesticides inside and out. Do your research, dear.

      • Bob643

        Correction: insecticides are actually a part of “some” GMO foods. That may seem like a nuance but it is an important one. I’m not saying I’m for eating GMO foods. But I am for getting the facts straight.

        • http://Www.cravenfanatic.com/ Cathy

          A fine point, and hardly worth splitting hairs over. Some GMO foods contain poison and others are just covered with it. Either way, GMO foods are not “more healthy because farmers don’t need to use more pesticides,” which was Alie J’s argument.

          • Bob643

            It is not good policy to fight lies with lies. Just saying.

    • MelchancolyTwists

      Considering I just did a six page term paper on how bad they are. You’re sadly mistaken.

      They cause devastating effects on wildlife because when pollen and seeds spread outside the farm. This is because they out-compete natural plants and become invasive. Then they destroy the biodiversity. Biodiversity is where we find out new cures for diseases and learn about natural in a natural state. Destroying it is a blow to science. The health of the environment counts on biodiversity because biodiversity what cleans up waste products etc.

      They are negatively affecting their farmers. The seeds are expensive and must be bought every single year. Then the pesticides must be bought. Round-up is used. It has been shown to cause breast cancer in mammals. There is another pesticide some plants produce themselves. There are many tests showing that this pesticide shrinks the reproductive organs and immune systems of mammals. People in areas where these plants are grown reported sickness when they pollinated.

      The capacity for allergies is great. When a GMO is altered dna from a for example carrot is put into soy. This causes someone with a carrot allergy to have a reaction with soy. Food allergies have been going up since GMO’s have been marketed.

      There is a great possibility for mutations and errors. Sometimes the bacteria or gene guns made to implant the dna may work incorrectly sending mutated genomes into a plant. This might cause an unexpected and dangerous result.

      The FDA was forced to undercover that hundreds of memos saying that Monsanto should test their products more thoroughly have been brought up by a lawsuit. The food safety czar conveniently is also Monsanto’s ex lawyer.

      Theres a huge difference between reproduction through sex and having your genome spliced.

      • Rand0Mone

        I am opposed to GMO products for a number of reasons. But I question the validity of your claims. For example, you wrote “They cause devastating effects on wildlife…”
        Can you cite an example of any wildlife devastation caused by GMO? I have yet to see any evidence of such.

        You wrote “Then they destroy the biodiversity.” Again, can you cite any example of such? I have not yet found any evidence that biodiversity is being altered any more than it is altered on a regular basis by Mother Nature herself.

        You wrote “Food allergies have been going up since GMO’s have been marketed.”
        Food allergies have not increased at a greater rate due to GMO, as far as I am aware. I can find no study or other credible evidence to support that claim. However, food allergies have increased quite a bit since the widespread use of modern insecticides began, and I expect that rate to increase more as more GMO products precipitate a higher use of insecticides…. but so far I have seen no conclusive evidence of such.
        I would be very interested to learn of any factual evidence of such matters.
        Monsanto’s ties to government go way beyond the “food safety czar”. The current administration is the worst in the history of our nation in many regards, and food safety is up there near the top of the list, in my opinion. The FDA and the USDA are both a disgrace. Comprehensive restructuring should be done ASAP, including kicking out ALL of the pro-corporate people.

  • Carla | Gluten Free Recipe Box

    Unfortunately, people on a gluten free diet add xanthan gum to their baked goods quite often. There are other gums that are easier to digest, such as Gum Arabic.

  • http://Www.cravenfanatic.com/ Cathy

    It’s hard to find a product on the shelf that doesn’t have xanthan gum in it. Recently, they started adding it to pickle juice (try to find a jar of pickles without it). It’s also an ingredient in Planter’s honey-roasted nuts. It’s hard to imagine why an emulsifier, or thickener is required in either one of these products. I’m beginning to wonder whether there’s more to it than we think. Cargill is a major manufacturer of it. Are they using GMO corn/soy in the process? Xanthan gum may be a “sorta natural” product, but I avoid it as much as possible along with soy lecithin (also in practically everything). Consequently, I don’t eat too much in the way of processed foods (unless I’m eating out).

  • slimypants

    Xanthan gum is horrible. I can instantly tell when sauces contain it as they have a slimy, rubbery texture. When you try to lick them your finger they slides straight off your tongue. My gut reaction is that anything so nasty can’t be good for you but I have no proof of that so I’ll settle with unpalatable.

    • Bob643

      Some people think the same thing about okra. It is the water soluble fiber that makes it slimy. Same thing that makes oatmeal a bit slimy. Same thing that makes xanthan gum slimy. Same thing makes flax in water slimy. Nothing horrible about it but some people simply do not like the texture of water soluble fiber. It is a preference issue.

  • sh

    To clear up organic vs. non GMO…
    “The National Organic Program (USDA NOP) specifies that organic products cannot contain genetically modified organisms, so products that are certified organic do not contain GMOs.”-shopOrganic website

  • Justin

    I have found Xanthan Gum to cause very severe adult acne on my skin. The acne lasts for six months and often scars.

    • Tdu1vme

      I agree. I have experienced small acne like lumps under my skin which are painful to the touch after taking a nutritional supplement with xanthum gum as an ingredient.

  • Zulu King of the Dwarfs

    Really a shame. I’m allergic to both wheat and corn products. Both are disguised under so many names. It’s almost impossible to find any prepackaged foods in the supermarket that does not have xanthan gum as an additive. Wheat is a little more easier to avoid. Unless you are eating strictly a raw, organic or fresh food diet, corn products are almost impossible to avoid. :(

    • Bob643

      One cannot be allergic to xanthan gum since it is not a protein and contains no protein. It is possible to be sensitive to xanthan gum but that is not the same thing as being allergic to it. BTW, if you are allergic to wheat and corn products, most likely xanthan gum is not a problem. There is no xanthan gum in wheat or corn and there is not wheat or corn in xanthan gum. “Made from” is not the same as “contains”.

  • JEB

    If you candida issues or yeast starch allergies then you need to avoid all types of grains and most sugars. For anyone following a SCD, GAPS or Paleo diet Xantham gum or any type of gum is illegal. I found an amazing mobile app for my android which has made my life easier it is called SCD buddy. Give it a try!

  • Debra Moray-Brach

    I am making my own tooth paste, and was wondering if I could put a little of Xanthan Gum in it to make it stay together.

  • amis

    Brenda, read a book rather than trolling. Referencing a centuries old process, fermentation, as “farts”… shows you have no business advising anyone on bacteria, GMO, or making yeast breads.
    @fooducate, thanks for the information and entertainment.

  • liangxinhuo2014

    We can learn much about Xanthan Gum from this article.Now we use many kinds of food additives to make food delicious.But I think it’s important for us to learn how to control the quantity of it.Here is more details about Xanthan Gum.http://www.orencn.com/-Xanthan-Gum–good-Emulsifiers–Thickeners_827.html

  • B

    FDA tested for adults, but not for infants. See St. Louis Today article. http://www.stlmag.com/Simply-Thick-A-Tragedy-No-One-Saw-Coming/

  • http://www.chemazing.com xanthan gum

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  • Nik

    I had every negative symptom after eating vegan cookies made with ca than gum. The migrane headaches were almost unbearable. I will be tossing my xanthan gum and not ever using/eating it again.