Xanthan Gum

A 2012 article in the “Journal of Pediatrics” noted U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings that products containing xanthan gum have been linked to illnesses and deaths in infants.

  • Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide.
  • Used as a food additive and thickening agent in foods and cosmetics.
  • May cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
  • Made by fermenting corn sugar with a bacteria, Xanthomonas campestris.
  • Emulsifier.
  • Has become popular in the gluten free circles. It helps give the dough a sticky consistency.
  • Derived from many sources including corn, wheat, or soy. Pay attention to allergic responses.
  • Nutritionally, xanthan gum is a carbohydrate with 7 grams of fiber per tablespoon. This may cause bloating in some people.
  • Due to the lack of harmful effects observed in animal studies, there are few human studies on xanthan gum.
  • Less than 0.5% of the food weight is usually enough.
  • Is widely used in gluten-free products and getting more and more popular.
  • Was “discovered” by a team of USDA researchers in the 1960’s. In 1968 it was approved for use as a food additive in the US and Europe.
  • The only concerning research I found on xanthan gum relates to the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in infants.
  • Is used in ice creams to prevent the formation of ice crystals and keep it smooth.
  • read more about side effects – livestrong
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