Xanthan Gum Uses

Posted by Information 27/11/2014 0 Comment(s) Molecular,

Xanthan (pronounced “zan-than”) is obtained from the fermentation of corn-starch. It is a gum with great thickening power and is a suspensoid; i.e. maintains elements in suspension in a liquid, without sinking. It can thicken and stabilise most liquids (soups, sauces, foams, alcohols, emulsions, creams, vinaigrettes etc.) and is sable over a range pH values, salt contents, and temperatures (thickened solutions can be frozen & defrosted) being soluble in hot or cold liquids without losing viscosity, even when gas foamed.
Very small amounts of the product are required meaning there is no masking of taste in a recipe preparation.
Although highly soluble, gums can congeal if not sufficiently agitated when combined with liquids, so for best dispersal combine with other dry ingredients before incorporating into liquids with a stick or bar blender.
Xanthan can be utilised as:

  • A stabiliser for emulsions (e.g. dressings, sauces) and drinks.
  • A foam or mousse stabiliser when charging a xanthan thickened solution with N2O in a siphon.
  • As a suspensoid, to keep small particles like herbs, flavour capsules etc. in drinks, dressings and sauces suspended.
  • A texture enhancer to improve the mouth-feel of thick syrups and similar products without flavour masking.
  • To improve the adhesion properties of coatings & batters
  • To assist in ice crystal size reduction for ice creams.
  • To prevent separation (i.e. prevent water leaking from) fruit or vegetable purees
  • As a jus or gravy thickener – xanthan has a thin mouth feel (high shear rate) but good stabilization properties. This means stock bases sauces no longer have to be over reduced to obtain a jus of the desired consistency or be starch thickened. The gum can be incorporated in small increments until the desired consistency is achieved with no change in the flavour profile

For all these applications, the food gum is mixed well into a liquid, ideally with an electric blender, until the desired viscosity has been reached. A xanthan thickened liquid will have the same viscosity if hot or cold.

Example Recipe:

Raisin Emulsion with Vanilla & Truffle

  • 250gm golden raisins
  • 25gm liquid honey
  • 800ml water
  • 45ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 x vanilla pod
  • 20ml En Place Truffle oil
  • 2gm xanthan gum

Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod.
Poach the raisins in the water and vinegar with the vanilla pod shell & seeds until the raisins soften.
Add the honey heating gently, stirring to combine.
Remove the vanilla pod and puree the raisins, syrup, truffle oil and xanthan to form a smooth emulsion.
Stain and reheat as required - excellent with veal, pork or scallops.