Is Xanthan Gum Vegan Friendly?

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Is Xanthan Gum Vegan Friendly?

xanthan gum, vegan

Vegans are excellent at reading labels in order to avoid consuming or using animal products. However, determining if a product is vegan-friendly can be difficult at times. So is xanthan gum vegan-friendly?

Xanthan gum is a food additive that is a part of the production of a variety of foods and pharmaceuticals. It can maintain textures from shifting, enhance thickness, works as an emulsifier, and keep ingredients in place in the products it is added in.

Because of this value, it is becoming a more significant component for food manufacturers that wish to avoid common allergies such as wheat and eggs. 

It is crucial to understand where food additives originate from and the production steps before deciding whether or not you can use them.

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is made by a bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris digesting simple sugars, mostly glucose in the form of maize. The technique of making xanthan gum is rather unique.

A bacterial fermentation process produces xanthan gum, which is a complex exopolysaccharide. This commonly infects cruciferous plants like cauliflower and causes illnesses like bacterial wilt and black rot. 

Fermentation transforms the sugars into gooey broth. Later the addition of isopropyl alcohol helps turn the sugary soup into a solid. 

After drying and grounding the solid into a powder, it will be sent again for rehydration into a thickener and stabilizer in industrially producing products ranging from French bread to face cream to fungicides.

What is Xanthan Gum Used For?

Xanthan gum is a thickening agent that contributes to making liquid meals thicker. Mainly because xanthan gum retains its viscosity at room temperature and helps items flow or squeeze easily, it is commonly present in medicines, toothpaste, gluten-free baked products, and other products’ binding powers compensate for the lack of gluten.

bread, xanthan gum, binding agent, gluten-free

It substitutes thickening components that contain too many carbs, especially in low-carb diets. In baked products, xanthan gum is a common binder. This binding ingredient frequently takes the place of gluten, which gives the food a soft but chewy texture. 

Xanthan gum extends the life of food and personal care items by improving their texture and structure. When xanthan gum is combined with water, it forms a gel-like material.

Also, xanthan gum binds baked items together during the process and is a common substitute for sticky wheat protein. It binds components in the same manner as gluten does, allowing air spaces to form. As a result, xanthan gum may also give baked goods a sour taste. 

It is also an emulsifier, which is a compound that aids in the combination of fats and water.

Is Xanthan Gum Vegan?

Xanthan gum is vegan. Because xanthan gum is made from vegan-friendly carbohydrates and microorganisms and does not include any animal products, it is theoretically vegan.

However, whether or not the bacteria are vegan-friendly contributes to the use of fermentation culture. Some farmers employ dairy as a growth medium for fermentation in addition to soy, wheat, and maize. It may or may not be vegan as a result of this.

While some xanthan gum manufacturing can take place on equipment that also produces egg products, the sanitization of equipment and the danger of cross-contamination is narrow. 

In order to be sure, seek the vegan seal on any food package that includes xanthan gum. Furthermore, also read the ingredients list. 

It is difficult to determine for sure whether the xanthan gum you are eating was grown on a vegan surface without contacting the producer. It is also difficult to ask brands directly about their practices.

On the other hand, studies show that when mixing it with a kind of fiber called beta-glucan or added to meals, xanthan gum may help persons with diabetes lower their blood sugar levels. 

Is Xanthan Gum Gluten-Free?

xanthan gum, ingredients list, non-vegan

Yes, Xanthan Gum is gluten-free. With the growing popularity of a gluten-free lifestyle, many individuals are attempting to make gluten-free versions of their favorite foods. 

It can be found in gluten-free bread and other food, which includes flour as a wheat gluten alternative. Those with gluten sensitivity should check for xanthan gum on the ingredient list. With just a sprinkling of xanthan gum, chefs can emulsify, thicken, and stabilize their recipes.

Most xanthan gum products may be used to avoid gluten, which is a very strong lectin that can even induce intestinal perforations. However, because of the frequent usage of lectin-containing growth mediums instead of wheat, gluten-free xanthan gum is not always lectin-free.

Xanthan gum is a vital component in gluten-free baking. It aids in binding and flexibility while baking. This stabilizing agent is an essential factor in enjoying a wide variety of dishes for individuals who have gluten sensitivity because of Celiac disease.

The gum gives batters and doughs the thickness that gluten does. In some cases, there are suitable alternatives to xanthan gum, such as agar, chia seeds, flax seeds, and psyllium fiber. 

Is Xanthan Gum Kosher?

Since xanthan gum results from the fermentation of carbs, there are concerns about it being kosher. More importantly, the production process uses alcohol, and some sources of alcohol like grapes or wheat are non-kosher. So it’s recommended to use xanthan gum that is certified kosher.  

Wrap Up

It might be difficult to commit to a vegan diet. Most individuals get used to the practice of reading food labels before purchasing any product to ensure that it is vegan. 

Many of us focus on the major components when checking the vegan status of a product. Often a time we neglect food additives that are often towards the end of the ingredients list.

So is xantham gum vegan-friendly? It is a vegetarian product. It is a popular food ingredient that serves a range of functions, including dispersing, stabilizing, suspensions, and controlling viscosity. 

Check the labels to be sure you are obtaining a vegan-friendly product, as food producers do not always indicate how they source their ingredients. 

If you are concerned about using xanthan gum in your baking or cooking, consider one of the more versatile and healthful alternatives, such as guar gum or chia seeds.

Bread, baking, vegan