Gum Guru Blog
Videos in the Basics of Food Gums Series
In this episode, we’ll be looking at the category of Food Gums known as Fermentation Gums. In our first video, we provided a little background on food gums as a whole. If you’d like to watch that video for a quick introduction, click the link in this video or in the description below to check it out.
Fermentation gums is a category that doesn’t get a lot of attention but the uses of these gums are quite extensive. The two most popular gums from this category are Xanthan gum and Gellan gum. These gums are derived from the coatings of naturally occurring bacteria. When these bacteria are exposed to a controlled fermentation bath, they excrete a coating that is then sterilized, separated and milled. The uses for this gum are many; the most common being in dressings, sauces and beverages. The superior stabilizing attributes of these gums makes them not only a highly desired food additive but a widely used one as well.
The use of Gellan gum has grown in popularity due to its beneficial suspension, texture and gelling attributes. Gellan also fits the growing trend of clean label ingredients because of its favorable perception among manufacturers and consumers. Not only that but Gellan works at low usage rates, and in a variety of applications from liquids to gels providing desirable stability and mouthfeel. In addition, it can be used together with other gums to provide complementary benefits.
Out of these different fermentation gums, there’s one that you’re more likely to hear about and that’s Xanthan. Xanthan is derived from the naturally occurring bacteria Xanthomonas and is widely used in the food industry for its incredible ability to provide both texture and stabilization. You’re likely to find it on labels for products like sauces, dressings, beverages, and even gluten-free bread. Xanthan was discovered in the 1960’s as scientists were attempting to create new food gums for commercial purposes. After its introduction to the food industry in the early 1970’s, Xanthan became a point of incredible interest for scientists and product developers and is widely used to this day.
So you might ask: “why is there xanthan in my salad dressing?” Salad dressing is one of the more popular applications of xanthan gum. We all know that traditional salad dressing tends to separate, hence why we shake the bottle before we pour. The great advantage of using Xanthan in Italian dressing for example, is its ability to keep the elements like oil, water and seasoning from separating out into those layers you commonly see. No matter how long the dressing sits, you’re going to retain a uniform mixture of ingredients when Xanthan is included in the dressing.
So to wrap up, in this episode we were able to touch on a new category of gums as well as look at the beneficial characteristics of Xanthan, one of the more widely known Fermentation Gums.
If you’d like to learn more, then check out this book by Andrew Hoefler called “Hydrocolloids”. It’s a great overview of common hydrocolloids. Also, there are some online journals you can reference for additional research. They can get technical but don’t let that stop you.
We hope you found this video helpful and perhaps presented a new perspective into the world of Food Science. Thanks for watching.
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Every year, our Gum Gurus® answer hundreds of questions about emulsions. Whether the customer calls our technical support hotline, chats on the website, or visits us at a tradeshow, they are often asking about emulsions that push the current technology to its limit.
Oil-in-water emulsion basics
An emulsion is the system that results from the mixing of two immiscible or partially miscible liquids, called the phases of the emulsion, and one or more emulsifiers in the proper ratio that keeps one phase consistently dispersed in the other. Usually, one of the phases is aqueous—the so-called "water phase"—and the other is an oil in the wide sense.
Emulsions tend to be naturally unstable due to differences in the specific gravity of the two phases and variation in the size of the oil droplets. Formulators can increase emulsion stability by incorporating emulsifiers and weighting agents.
While gum acacia has been the gold standard in emulsifying flavors, colors, and beverages, there are certain types of formulations that are outside the capabilities of gum acacia or other commercially available stabilizers.
There was a time when the only choice a consumer might have when buying milk, if they were lucky, was the choice between white or chocolate milk.
It wasn't too long ago that we may have thought the category was getting complicated when we could choose the amount of fat in the gallon of milk we were picking up at the grocery store.
And the milk was always produced from cows.
Today, the dairy and dairy alternative beverage category is all about choice. Consumers can make purchasing decisions about their beverages based on factors like health concerns, flavor, or convenience and the beverage category reflects those changes.
With citrus pectin supply still tight, stabilizer offers options for RTD Juices & Teas
With their inventories of citrus pectin dwindling and few indications that new supplies will return to the market any time soon, food manufacturers are searching for other texturizing options. Click here to read more about the supply of citrus pectin They are quickly finding that some functionalities of pectin are easier to replace than others.
Pectin is commonly used to enhance the mouthfeel in beverages like ready-to-drink (RTD) juices and teas. Fortunately, mouthfeel enhancement is one functionality that can be replicated with other gums.