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Xanthan Gum Substitutes and Side Effects

Updated on August 24, 2012

Xanthan Gum Substitute


What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is a natural product which could be derived from the fermentation of either corn, wheat or soy. The gum is implemented in the form of a thickening stabilizer ingredient in a diverse number of goods from baked foods to personal care products and supplies. When used in the food industry you are likely to identify quite a few products and solutions within your kitchen that include xanthan gum; for example foods such as salad dressings, frozen foods, egg substitutes, beverages, ice cream and flour based food products can contain the gum. You can also expect to find the gum commonly used in many other non food associated goods which include the cosmetics industry; where the gum is used to thicken facial creams and function as a bonding substance to maintain the items of the product together.

The gum can be used in many gluten-free based breads and many flour based dependent foods. People with allergic reactions to corn, wheat or soy may need to seek a replacement for xanthan gum as the gum could possibly contain traces of these products. Xanthan gum is harmless to use in food when used in a conservative quantity, but bear in mind that if you likely have an identified allergic reaction or you have consumed a large amount of the gum then you could be subjected to the probable adverse side effects that might take place. The World Health Organisation have recommended that the daily allowance of xanthan gum when used as a food ingredient should be limited to 10mg/kg or when used as a laxative limited to 15mg. It actually is best to look at the labels on foods and be aware of the quantity you could be ingesting to escape a number of the common side effects that may arise.

Side Effects

The most typical unwanted effects caused by the gum are related to trouble in the intestinal and related areas. The following is a number of the frequent harmful effects that may result from consuming the gum:

- Bloated tummy and gastrointestinal problems when consuming over the daily recommended intake

- Lung, nose and throat irritation or itching which is often due to exposure to the powder

- Headache

- Skin irritation and swelling

- Difficulties passing stool and stomach pain

- Queasiness and regurgitation


If you happen to experience an allergic reaction to corn, soy or wheat then you will likely want to search for a substitute for xanthan gum that suits you with regard to your baking needs. When used in the kitchen we have found that various substitutes work effectively in different conditions.

Xanthan gum is safe to use in baking although if you happen to have an identified allergy symptom then you will wish to avoid using it along with the possible unwanted side effects which could occur.


There are many cost-effective xanthan gum substitutes to experiment with in regard to your next baking adventure such as locust bean gum and guar gum. Discover more information about xanthan gum substitutes by visiting


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Xanthan gum make dish taste, but I always use instead, I heard a lot that xanthan gum is not so healthy.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      6 years ago from California Gold Country

      I always thought this was one of the more benign food additives, but I can see that it might be a problem for those with allergies-- especially because most people are unaware of what it is.

      One more reason to avoid processed foods. Thanks for the information.


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