Xanthan Gum

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An ingredient added to various food products, such as ice cream, snack bars, sour cream, yogurt, or salad dressing as a thickening, stabilizing and emulsifying agent. Produced from the fermentation of a carbohydrate, such as corn, xanthan gum is purified, processed, and most often ground into a powder form for use as a food additive. It has various attributes that assist with numerous food products, such as making items easily soluble, creating creamy textures, providing body and stability to food substances, and binding water. It can be used as a substitute for gluten in gluten free flours to assist with the rising of the dough. As an example of its use in binding it keeps water and oil blended when they are combined. When added to sweet fillings, it assists with keeping the water in the filling placed into pasteries so the water does not adversely affect and soften the crusts. Xanthan gum can be mixed with other thickeners such as guar gum or locust bean gum to increase the viscosity of foods more than can be accomplished by using only one of the thickeners.

To substitute xanthan gum for gelatin, use half the amount of gelatin required in the recipe. As an example, use 1 teaspoon of xanthan for 2 teaspoons of unflavored gelatin.

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