Xanthan gum is a popular food additive that's commonly added to foods as a thickener or stabilizer. It can be produced from simple sugars using a fermentation process and derives its name from the species of bacteria used, Xanthomas Campestris.
When xanthan gum powder is added to a liquid, it quickly disperses and creates a viscous and stable solution. This makes it an excellent thickening, suspending and stabilizing agent for many products.
Xanthan gum can improve the texture, consistency, flavour, shelf life and appearance of many foods.
It also stabilizes foods, helping certain foods withstand different temperatures and pH levels. Additionally, it prevents foods from separating and allows them to flow smoothly out of their containers. It's used frequently in gluten-free cooking since it can provide the elasticity and fluffiness that gluten gives traditional baked goods.
Xanthan gum is also found in many personal care and beauty products. It allows these products to be thick, but still, flow easily out of their containers.