The Truth Behind Xanthan Gum

What if we told you about a food ingredient that’s been around for over 50 years, is natural-based, a source of soluble fiber, adds no calories, can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, allows a product to be thicker and creamier in texture and protects the active ingredients? Would you want to learn more about it?  

Put on your taped up glasses, insert your pocket protector, get out your programmable calculator and follow us down the nerd path to Xanadu. Oh, sorry, I meant Xanthan gum.

It’s not a miracle ingredient, but xanthan [zan-thuhn] gum is one of the best ways to not only create an appealing viscosity to some of our liposomal nutritional products, but it also can protect the liposome during its journey through the harsh environment of the digestive tract.  

Remember the old saying about how “oil and water don’t mix”? With some of our liposomal formulas utilizing xanthan gum, it can help the two to remain evenly mixed and remain in a consistent suspension. Xanthan can also act as a micro-coating, further protecting liposomes, and their critical cargo of nutrients, from the harsh environment of the digestive tract. 

Created by technology proven with decades of safe use

Xanthan is created by taking a source of glucose (like potatoes, corn, grapes and many other carbohydrate-containing foods) and subjecting it to a specific microbial fermentation process, which eventually creates xanthan gum. When mixed with liquids, xanthan turns the liquid thicker and creamier (and can even add a bit of sweetness).

Is it safe?

Yes, when used in reasonable amounts. Keep in mind xanthan has been widely used for over 50 years and is on the Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) list of the FDA as well as an approved ingredient by the extremely strict European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). You’ll find xanthan gum in many foods, particularly salad dressings, dairy-based products like puddings and custards and particularly in many gluten-free baked goods. 

But what about all the negative information regarding xanthan gum? The question we’re asked the most is, “Is it natural?” The answer is, “Yes.”  As I mentioned, it starts with a natural glucose source and using a fermentation process (fermentation is one of the oldest known food processing techniques) using a specific bacterium (again, think about how cheese and sauerkraut are made) xanthan gum is produced. It’s on a large, commercial scale, but nonetheless, it’s based on natural processes and creates a natural-based product.  

Are there any negatives to Xanthan Gum? 

If you ingest more than 15gm per day, it can cause intestinal bloating and gas (just like too much of any other soluble fiber). Since it’s commonly used in many foods, one could theoretically ingest 15gm or more in a short period of time, but it would take some serious effort. Manna products use only milligrams per serving, which isn’t dietarily significant, so it’s highly unlikely that using our products will contribute to your inability to be in a crowded room, airplane, or elevator.  

Why use Xanthan Gum in our products?  

Our formulation criteria are to always produce the most natural products possible with the least amount of non-active ingredients. To produce our products and make them safe and effective, it is necessary to utilize ingredients that may not necessarily add to the nutritional value but are critical to the efficacy of the product. In the case of xanthan gum, you’ll see it in many of our products, but not all of them. That’s because every formulation is unique, and the interactions of specific ingredients may preclude the use of some ingredients in certain products. What we can absolutely assure you is that every Manna product is formulated and manufactured using the latest developments in technology and nutritional knowledge. In the end it’s about trust, and you can trust Manna products for yourself and your family, because we trust them for ours.

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