Xanthan gum is a sugar derived typically from corn that has been fermented by a type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. It is a FDA-approved food additive to function as thickening and stabilising agent, helps improving texture, consistency, flavor and appearance of the foods, as well as their ability to withstand different temperatures and pH levels.
It can also be used as a substitute for gluten in gluten-free products, as it provides the elasticity and fluffiness that gluten gives traditional baked goods. Although xanthan gum is used primarily as food additive, studies proposed that it may offer some health benefits.
It was found that xanthan gum may be beneficial for blood suagr health. As it is considered as a type of soluble fiber, it changes fluids in stomach and small intestines into a gel-like structure, hence slowing down the digestion and release of sugar into bloodstream, decreasing blood sugar spikes after eating. In addition, xanthan gum has been linked with other potential health benefits, such as management of blood cholesterol, weight loss, bowel movement and saliva substitute to treat dry mouth. Xanthan gum can be commonly found in foods such as bakery products, salad dressings, ice creams, sauces and gravies, syrups and fruit juices. It can also be found in many personal care products, such as toothpaste, creams, lotions and shampoo.