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  • Xanthan Gum in Cooking
  • source :https://www.thespruceeats        Nov 29,2018         71
    【Summary】

    Xanthan gum is a flavorless thickener used in many foods and other commercial products. It is a microbial polysaccharide produced by natural fermentation by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris.

    Xanthan gum is a flavorless thickener used in many foods and other commercial products. It is a microbial polysaccharide produced by natural fermentation by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris.

    In addition to thickening, xanthan gum helps keep solid particles in suspension, which is useful in products like bottled salad dressing. It provides an even texture and uniformity in a food and can improve mouthfeel. Xanthan gum can be bought for home use and is a great way to thicken and stabilize soymilk-based rice milk-based sauces, soups, and nondairy ice creams. It's often used in gluten-free baking as a replacement for the sticky effect of gluten.

    How Xanthan Gum Is Made

    Allene Rosalind Jeanes, a distinguished researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, discovered xanthan gum and it was developed for commercial use. The FDA deemed it a safe food additive in 1968.

    Xanthan gum is produced by natural fermentation of corn, soy, wheat, or cabbage. The bacteria digest the sugars in these vegetables and produce a complex sugar polymer. Alcohol is added to make it drop out of solution. The xanthan gum is then dried and converted into a powder that can be used in food and other products.

    How To Use Xanthan Gum in Cooking

    Xanthan gum functions similarly to gelatin in recipes with regards to stabilizing suspensions, but it is completely vegan, while gelatin comes from animal sources. It's also great for cooking and baking for persons with food allergies and restrictions, especially for those who are omitting dairy, eggs, and soy from their diet. While it may seem expensive at about $10 to $12 for 8 ounces, a very small amount goes a long way.

    No heating or cooling is needed for xanthan gum to form a gel—it does so as soon as it is in contact with a liquid. Acid and heat don't affect it, so it can be used in a wide variety of sauces and juices.

    To use xanthan gum in recipes, use about 1/8 teaspoon per cup of liquid and combine these in a blender, not by hand. It will "gum" almost instantly and form clumps if not constantly in motion while it is being incorporated into the liquid.

    For sauces, blending the xanthan gum first with a bit of oil before adding the soymilk or rice milk produces the best taste and texture, as this gives the sauce richness and depth that would normally be achieved by cream, butter or eggs. The more xanthan gum is used in a liquid the thicker it will become.



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