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What is xanthan gum?

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I always see xanthan gum listed as an ingredient in the gluten-free baked goods. Just out of curiosity, what is it?
asked Mar 6, 2016 in Food and Drink by MollyAnn
edited Mar 6, 2016
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According to Chris Kresser, xanthan gum is "a largely indigestible polysaccharide that is produced by bacteria called Xanthomonas Camestris. [1].

 

To be honest, I don't know what that means. But it doesn't sound great.

 

Xanthan gum is found in things like toothpaste, gum, salad dressing and ice cream [2]. It is also used in a lot of gluten free recipes; without gluten, there must be something in the recipe to act as a binding agent, and that is what xanthan gum does. Also, despite the fact that the description sounds rather negative, xanthan gum is not bad for you. Some people, however, do report stomach upset when consuming this product.

 

References: 

 

[1] https://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-xanthan-gum/

 

[2] http://www.forkandbeans.com/2014/02/24/xanthan-gum-actually-bad/

answered Mar 7, 2016 by Unckelli (50,310 points)

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