Xanthan Gum - A Safe Food Additive

Xanthan gum is a soluble biological fiber, that is, it comes from bioengineering and is fermented by specific strains of corn starch. Strictly speaking, there is no essential difference between this fermentation and brewing to make yogurt, it is pure and natural.

It has also been approved by the FDA as a safe food additive for nearly 60 years. Even because of its safety, the FDA has approved xanthan gum as a pharmaceutical additive for thickening and styling many drugs, such as cough syrups.

Table of Safe Food Additive - Xanthan Gum

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum has a very special property that as long as a little is added to water, it becomes thick immediately. It is an exaggeration to say that juice with xanthan gum becomes jam, and milk with xanthan gum is like old yogurt.

In academic terms, it is called a thickener. At the same time, xanthan gum is also a highly effective stabilizer, emulsifier and foam enhancer, and the latter is of great help to the softness of cake bread.

Biological glues can generally be divided into vegetable glues, animal glues and microbial glues. Vegetable gums include guar gum, gum arabic, rubber, alginate, etc., which need to be obtained by planting and collection; the more famous animal gums are gelatin, which was discredited by leather shoes some time ago, and donkey skin Ejiao, which is known as a cure for all diseases. Our protagonist today, xanthan gum is the microbial gum produced by the fermentation of fungi. Microbial glue is less affected by the regional environmental output, and is a good target for the biochemical industry.

Xanthan Gum

The Development History of Chinese Xanthan Gum

Due to the wide use and market value of xanthan gum, Chinese scientists who had been suppressed for many years began to actively participate in related research work at the beginning of the reform and opening up. Dozens of institutes such as Nankai University, Shandong University, Wuxi Institute of Light Industry, and Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences have carried out related research from different paths. In 1979, the “Preliminary Report on the Study of the Fermentation of Xanthomonas to Produce Acidic Polysaccharides” by Nankai Department of Biology was a landmark article, marking the beginning of the isolation of xanthan gum strains in my country. Since then, the efforts of Professor Zhao Dajian of Nankai University and others for decades have laid a solid theoretical foundation for the basic research on xanthan gum.

In 1986, Shandong Food and Fermentation Industry Research and Design Institute and Nankai University cooperated to tackle key problems, and achieved non-economical production for the first time in Yantai Microbial Polysaccharide Factory (Yantai MSG Factory), which was an important breakthrough in the industrialization of xanthan gum. Nankai University and Jiangsu Jinhu MSG Factory have also tried the production of food-grade xanthan gum. However, the fermentation process and post-extraction technology are immature, the energy consumption is huge, and the cost of raw materials such as ethanol is astonishing, so it can only stay in the pilot stage, and the high cost makes the product uncompetitive. None of these early attempts were successful.

The strain of xanthan gum is scientifically named Xanthomonas canola. But it’s not one, but hundreds or thousands of mutated flora. In Europe and the United States, researchers make different targeted products by screening the glue production and glue characteristics of different strains, so as to obtain higher profits.

Xanthan Gum

The Development and Reform of Chinese Xanthan Gum

Professor Cheng noticed that the biggest problem of China’s xanthan gum industry is that the amount of ethanol used to extract gum from fermentation broth is too large. One ton of xanthan gum consumes one ton or even several tons of ethanol. Ethanol is alcohol, and the cost is very high. Such a consumption method makes it impossible for economical mass production.

Professor Cheng took a different approach, starting with guiding the mutation of Xanthomonas, trying to find a variety that can extract glue without alcohol. After years of hard work, we finally found a strain that can settle colloids only by adjusting the pH and at the same time produce high yields. And hydrochloric acid is a super cheap thing, which makes mass production economics possible. In 1987, Professor Cheng and her assistant Liu Xiaoyang applied for the Chinese patent CN 87106960.

Due to the real breakthrough in the industry, in 1990, Professor Cheng’s project was selected into the National Torch Program, and in 1992, Xanthan Gum from Xinhe, Hebei was listed as a national new product. In 1993, Professor Cheng won the National Invention Award, one of the highest national science and technology awards, and was awarded and received by the country’s top leaders and all Standing Committee members at the National Science and Technology Conference.

In the 2000s, with the import and advancement of a large number of equipment, stainless steel tanks and pipes are more reliable, which greatly reduces the consumption of alcohol in the production of food-grade xanthan gum. At the same time, due to the innovation of laboratory technology, the screening and cultivation level of vaccines has been greatly improved. This makes the mass production of food-grade xanthan gum in China economical.

Application of Xanthan Gum in Food

As a preservative, xanthan gum tissue has been approved by numerous countries. It has actually become a vital stabilizer, suspending representative, emulsifier, thickener, binder as well as high value-added, high-grade handling resources in the fields of beverages, cakes, jelly, canned food, seafood and meat products processing. Especially, it can be summed up in the complying with facets.

It is used in food of different fruit juice beverages, concentrated fruit juice, flavorings (such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, salad dressing). The supporting result of xanthan periodontal is certainly better than that of various other periodontals. It has strong thermal security. General heat sterilization will certainly not impact it. It can be utilized in numerous fruit juice drinks, pulp drinks, veggie protein beverages, and so on.

The superb salt resistance, acid and also alkali resistance of xanthan gum tissue can totally change the traditional thickener starch in soy sauce, and so on, can conquer the shortcomings of starch precipitation, and make the soy sauce fine and also attire, enhance the wall surface hanging and also coloring properties, and extend the life span. For jam, bean paste and also various other flavorful sauces, xanthan gum is used as a thickening stabilizer to make the sauce attire, with great spreadability, no pile, simple filling, as well as enhanced preference.

As an emulsifier, it is made use of in numerous healthy protein drinks and milk drinks to avoid oil-water stratification, enhance healthy protein security, as well as stop protein precipitation. It can also use its emulsifying capability as a frothing agent and foam stabilizer, such as in beer production, and so on. After adding 0.02% xanthan periodontal to the soy protein-based emulsification system, the emulsification was considerably boosted, as well as the mixed system had high shear rate and heat-induced high thickness attributes.

As a steady high-viscosity filler, it can be extensively used in the handling of various type of treats, bread, biscuits, candies and other foods, without changing the conventional taste of the food, so that the food has far better form retention, longer Shelf life and far better taste contribute to the diversification as well as industrial-scale production of these foods. In the manufacturing of various frozen foods, xanthan gum has the features of protecting against water loss, postponing aging and also prolonging service life.

As an emulsion stabilizer, it is used in frozen foods. In gelato as well as gelato, xanthan gum can readjust the viscosity of the mixture, to ensure that it has a consistent and also secure make-up, as well as the framework is smooth and soft. Due to the connection between the viscosity and temperature level of xanthan gum, it has plasticity and also shearing. Therefore, during the processing procedure, the thickness reduces as well as the resistance reduces, which is beneficial to the process, and in the cooling as well as aging stage, the thickness recuperates, which is beneficial to enhance the growth price, protect against the development of large ice crystals in the gelato framework, as well as make the ice cream preference smooth and also fragile. At the same time, the freeze-thaw security of the product is boosted, and the cream and also water are evenly mixed throughout melting, as well as the phenomenon of slurry separation will not occur. The general aging time is 2 to 3 hours. The dosage is 0.2% to 0.4%.

Xanthan gum tissue can cross-link some water-soluble powder compounds, such as salt alginate, casein, methyl cellulose and also polyethylene glycol cellulose sodium salt, to make a binder. This adhesive is utilized in food processing to improve appearance as well as increase film-forming homes. This residential property of xanthan gum tissue can be utilized to make granular pastes. Compared with the traditional paste, the paste made from xanthan gum tissue has much less spreading, high homogeneity and also solubility, great fluidity as well as filling up performance, and has excellent strong storage efficiency since it does not have cohesiveness.

  1. The impact of xanthan gum on the top quality of noodles
    • The formation of gluten by xanthan periodontal showed a pattern of strengthening initial and then weakening, and also its impact on water holding rate would impact other indications of gluten.
    • Xanthan gum tissue has an excellent improvement result on the silty residential or commercial properties, yet has a weakening result on the tensile buildings.
    • Xanthan gum tissue has little impact on the expansion capacity of starch, and it has a routine decrease in the initial gelatinization temperature of flour, and the peak viscosity is the largest when the amount of colloid added is 0.2.
    • Xanthan periodontal has an excellent improvement on cooking qualities. With the increase of colloid ratio, various indicators of food preparation qualities lower.
    • The addition of colloid enhances the hardness, adhesiveness and also chewiness of the noodle structure, and the adhesiveness, flexibility, cohesion and also recuperation are lower than that of the space.
  2. Renovation of beef top quality
    The improvement of the water retention of beef by xanthan gum tissue is primarily based upon 2 aspects. First, xanthan periodontal itself is a hydrophilic colloid, which penetrates right into beef tissue to enhance the water retention capability of muscular tissues; second, the water retention of meat can be gotten with the gelatinlike framework of healthy protein. and electrostatic effect, in which myosin in the structural protein of muscle mass has a crucial duty in its water retention.

    PH value is an essential criterion to measure the high quality of beef, which not only affects the palatability, tenderness, cooking loss and also life span of beef, yet likewise has a significant relationship with the water retention, meat shade and flavor of beef. When the pH value of muscular tissue is close to its healthy protein isoelectric factor (5.0-5.5), the mechanical toughness of the meat is the best, the tenderness is poor, as well as the water-holding force is likewise reduced. Manufacturing typically needs the pH of meat to deviate from its isoelectric point. Soaking beef in xanthan gum tissue solution can raise the pH worth of its muscular tissues, as a result, including xanthan periodontal will certainly aid to improve the water retention and also texture top quality of beef.

    The maximum shearing force of beef can show the tenderness of beef, and also the smaller the shearing pressure, the far better the tenderness. Consequently, 0.5% xanthan periodontal soaking remedy can enhance the tenderness of beef. The reason may be that: xanthan periodontal can chelate Ca2+, which may promote the transfer of Ca2+ in muscle cells right into sarcoplasm, thereby triggering calcium activating enzyme in sarcoplasm, advertising the hydrolysis of muscular tissue protein, and causing z-line in muscular tissue fiber framework. Disintegrates till loss, along with rupture of sarcomeres as well as fragmentation of myofibrils, consequently tenderizing muscles.

Reference

  1. Food Additives—Xanthan Gum
  2. Xanthan Gum CAS 11138-66-2 – Zhishang Chemical
  3. Xanthan Gum — Is This Food Additive Healthy or Harmful? – HealthLine

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