|Appearance||Pale Yellow powder|
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide used as a food additive and rheology modifier (Davidson ch. 24). It is produced by a process involving fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium.
In foods, xanthan gum is most often found in salad dressings and sauces. It helps to stabilize the colloidal oil and solid components against creaming by acting as an emulsifier. Also used in frozen foods and beverages, xanthan gum creates the pleasant texture in many ice creams. Toothpaste often contains xanthan gum, where it serves as a binder to keep the product uniform. Xanthan gum is also used in gluten-free baking. Since the gluten found in wheat must be omitted, xanthan gum is used to give the dough or batter a "stickiness" that would otherwise be achieved with the gluten. Xanthan gum also helps thicken commercial egg substitutes made from egg whites to replace the fat and emulsifiers found in yolks.