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Xanthan gum

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Xanthan gum is also called Yellow adhesive, xanthan gum, xanthomonas polysaccharide. It is a kind of monospore polysaccharide generated by fermentation of Pseudomonas flava. Since its special macromolecule construction and colloidal properties, it’s with several functions. It can be used as emulsifier, stabilizer, gel thickener, impregnating compound, membrane shaping agent and others. It is widely applied in various fields of national economy. Xanthan gum is praised as “the monosodium glutamate of industry”; it is the microbial polysaccharide with largest production scale and extremely wide application. 


Basic information


English name: Xanthan gum    Other name: Yellow adhesive, xanthan gum, xanthomonas polysaccharide

Chemical formula: C35H49O29    CAS number: 11138-66-2    EINECS number: 234-394-2

Appearance: white or light yellow powder


Features and performance


Xanthan gum is the most superior biological glue integrated with thickening, suspension, emulsification and stabilization. The quantity of pyroracemic acid group in side molecular chain end of xanthan gum has effects for its performance. Xanthan gum has general performance of long-chain macromolecule, while it is with more functional groups than general macromolecule so that it will shows unique performance under specified conditions. It has multiple conformations in aqueous solution and shows different features in different conditions. 

1.Suspension property and emulsifying property

Xanthan gum is with good suspension effect for insoluble solid and oil drop. 

2.Good water solubility

Xanthan gum can be dissolve rapidly in water. It is with very good water solubility. It especially also can be dissolve in cold water, so that it can omits complicated processing procedures and makes the application convenient. 

3.Thickening property

Xanthan gum solution is with properties of low concentration and high viscosity (viscosity of its 1% aqueous solution is equal to 100 times of gelatin). It’s a kind of efficient thickening agent. 

4.Pseudoplasticity 

Xanthan gum aqueous solution is with high viscosity under static state or low shearing action; its viscosity will be sharp dropped under high shearing action while the molecular structure won’t be changed. When the shearing action is eliminated, the original viscosity will be recovered immediately. The relationship between shearing action and viscosity are totally malleable. The pseudoplasticity of xanthan gum is very outstanding. This kind of pseudoplasticity is very effective for stabilizing suspension liquid and emulsion. 

5.Stability for temperature

The viscosity of xanthan gum doesn’t be changed with the temperature changes. General polysaccharide appears viscosity variation because of heating while the viscosity of xanthan gum aqueous solution appears scarcely any changes in 10—80℃. Even though the low concentration aqueous solution is in wide temperature scope, it still shows stable high viscosity. 

6.The stability for acid-base

Xanthan gum solution is very stable for acid-base. Its viscosity won’t be affected in the PH scope 5-10; when the PH is less than 4 or more than 11, its viscosity has slight change. 

7.The stability for salt

Xanthan gum solution can mix with many salt solutions (kali salt, sodium salt, calcium salt, magnesium salt and others) and its viscosity won’t be affected. Under the hyper-salt concentration, it still keeps its solubility and is free of precipitation and flocculation in saturated salt solutions, and its viscosity is hardly affected. 

8.The stability for enzymatic hydrolysis

The stable double helix structure of xanthan gum is with extremely strong anti-oxidation and anti-oxidation performance. Many enzymes, such as protease, amylase, cellulose and hemicellulase, they can’t degrade the xanthan gum. 


Main purpose 


In industry, it is applied as multiple purposes stabilizer, thickening agent, and processing assistant agent, including producing canning and bottled food, bakery food, dairy product, frozen food, salad seasoning, drink, brew product, candy, pastry decorating accessories and others. During food producing process, it is liable to flowing, pouring in and out, channelization and reducing energy consumption. 

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Matters needing attention


It should be stored under environment temperature, airtight, dry conditions. 


Xanthan gum application in food industry


As a food additive, Xanthan gum has been accepted by many countries. This kind of polysaccharide remarkably improves the texture, taste, appearance through controlling the rheology action of the product, improve its commercial value; in beverage, cake and pastry, jelly, canned food, sea food, meat product processing and other industries, it has become important stabilizer, suspending agent, emulsifier, thickening agent, adhesion agent and processing material with high added-value and quality. It can be concretely summarized into following aspects. 

1.Acid-resisting salt-tolerant thickening stabilizer 

Be applicable to various kinds of juice beverage, fruit juice concentrate, food with seasoning (such as soybean sauce, oyster sauce, salad sauce). The stabilization effect of Xanthan gum is obviously batter than other gum. It is with extremely strong heat stability so that ordinary high temperature sterilization has no effect to it. 

2.Emulsifier 

As an emulsifier, it is applied in various kinds of protein drink, milk beverage, etc to prevent oil-water stratification and improve protein stability, prevent protein sediment. It is also used as foaming agent and foam stabilizer based on its emulsifying capacity. 

3.Filling agent

As stable high viscosity filler, it can be applied in processing of various kinds of dessert, bread, biscuit, candy, etc. Under the condition that the traditional flavor of the food is not changed, it can make the food with more preferable shape preserving property, longer expiration period and batter taste. It is beneficial to the food diversification and industrialization scale production. In the production process of various kinds of frozen foods, xanthan gum it is with function for preventing water loss, delaying aging and prolonging quality guarantee period. 

4.Emulsion stabilizer

As an emulsion stabilizer, it is applied in frozen foods. In ice cream, sorbet, xanthan gum can adjust the viscosity of mixture and make its composition uniform and stable and its tissue soft and smooth. Since the relation between the viscosity of xanthan gum and temperature has plasticity and shearing property, during the processing, its viscosity is reduced and the resistance is decreased, so that it is in favor of processing; however, during the aging stage, viscosity is recovered so that it is beneficial to improving expansion rate, preventing the generation of large ice particles in ice cream tissue and making the taste of ice cream more fine and smooth. Meanwhile, it also improves the freeze-thaw stabilization of the product. 

5.Application in flour product 

In flour product, xanthan gum is a kind of additive worth being promoted. In the producing process of fine dried noodles, noodles and instant noodles, the added xanthan gum can improve gluten power of dough; the dough sheet extruded is with toughness and is reduced broken rate after drying, meanwhile it also improve taste and make it chewy, fresh and smooth; for frying cooking, it also can save oil and reduce cooking cost.  

6.Other application

Except for the applications above, xanthan gum is also widely used in processing of meat food, fruit and vegetable fresh-keeping cans and other foods. 


Application of Xanthan Gum in Petroleum Industry

A huge market for xanthan gum is petroleum industry. In the performance of Viscosity, thickening, salt resistance and contamination resistance, xanthan gum is far better than other polymer; especially in the well drilling of sea, beach, high halide layer and permafrost layer, xanthan gum has remarkable effect in sludge treatment, completion fluid, and tertiary oil recovery, and has significant function for accelerating drilling speed, preventing the well collapse, protecting oil and gas fields, preventing the blowout, enhancing oil recovery rate substantially, etc. As a kind of ideal additive, this product has very favorable development prospect. 


1.Drilling Industry

Drilling fluid is the working fluid applied in drilling process. During the drilling process, drilling fluid acts important function. People usually refer it to as “blood of drilling”. xanthan gum is one of its main components. Its functions are adding viscosity and shearing force, improving the suspending power of drilling fluid which is essential in using functions of the drilling fluid. 


2.Oil exploitation industry

Since the xanthan gum is with good viscosity, rheological property, water-solubility, and chemical stability and also with strong performance for mechanical degradation resistance, it can be used as displacing agent of oilfield exploitation. Many kinds of polymer can be used as mobility control agent in oil exploitation. Among these kinds of agent, xanthan gum is identified as the agent with most utilization potentiality. Xanthan gum contains many essential conditions required for improving oil recovery rate.

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