Our xanthan gum (80 mesh) is just what you need for all your gluten-free baking needs. Discovered in the early 1960s, xanthan gum has been approved as a food additive in 1968 but has gained worldwide popularity only recently as gluten-free products are on the rise.
What is xanthan gum?
- Xanthan gum is a coating from a particular bacteria, "xanthomonas campestris". This bacteria grows a protective coating. Think of it like an orange peel or the skin of an onion. It's a protective layer. When fed a particular food, this bacteria's coating becomes very sticky and makes a great binding and thickening agent in baking.
- Most commonly, "xanthomonas campestris" is fed glucose (sugar) derived from corn, soy, or wheat. The bacteria that grows our Xanthan Gum is fed a carbohydrate substrate produced from corn.
What is 80 mesh?
- It refers to the "mesh" of screen size the powder must pass through. 80 mesh is standard for most baking application while 200 mesh is a much finer powder used in specialty manufacturing mainly of drinks where is has to stay suspended in a liquid.
Is xanthan gum gluten-free?
- Xanthan gum is gluten free. Even when it's grown on glutenous grains, it is only the sugars of that grain that are used and thus the xanthan gum itself contains no gluten.
What is the difference between xanthan gum and guar gum?
- Both ingredients are frequently called for in gluten-free recipes and can seem exotic at first, but they both serve the same general purpose as thickeners and emulsifiers. Quite simply, both these ingredients help keep your mixes mixed. They keep oil droplets from sticking together and separating, and solid particles from settling to the bottom. You can use just one or the other; or sometimes for the best results, you can use them in combination together.
- One of the differences between the two products is where they come from. Guar gum is made from a seed native to tropical Asia, while xanthan gum is made by a micro organism called "xanthomonas campestris".
- In general, guar gum is good for cold foods such as ice cream or pastry fillings, while xanthan gum is better for baked goods. Xanthan gum is the right choice for yeasted breads. Foods with a high acid content (such as lemon juice) can cause guar gum to lose its thickening abilities. For recipes involving citrus, you will want to use xanthan gum or increase the amount of guar gum used.
- If you look at our Cuisine Angelique gluten-free mixes you will notice that some use one or the other and some use both. Experimenting is sometimes the only way to create a new recipe.
Why isn't your xanthan gum organic?
- We only sell organic products but sometimes, they just don't exist or are impossible to certify. This is the case with: xanthan gum, guar gum, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), cream of tartar, double action baking powder and most obviously salt.
- Long story short, in the case of xanthan gum, the production process involves chemicals to make the finished powder that make it impossible to certify as organic.
- Organic is what we strongly believe in and if would exist we would have it.
How can products be labeled as organic if they contain conventional ingredients like xanthan gum?
- According to USDA rules (which most countries copy), if 95% of a product is made up of organic ingredients, it can be called organic.
- But you can't just add 5% of anything. The non-organic ingredients that can legally go into foods labeled as organic have to be listed in the "National List of inorganic products" that can legally go into foods labeled as organic.
- One of the key terms in the list is "commercially available". As an example organic yeast exists, we sell it but it is not considered "commercially available" as its cost is completely ridiculous. So conventional yeast is allowed in organic bread for example.
- Nothing beats vacuum sealing for freshness.
- Store below 15°C and < 65% humidity.
- Store in the dark as light degrades flavors.
- Mason jars make great storage containers.
- Can be frozen to prolong shelf life.