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Xanthan (ZAN than) gum and guar (gwar) gum are the most frequently used gums in gluten-free recipes and gluten-free products.

Gums are "hydrocolloidals" that bind, thicken and emulsify gluten-free ingredients. If you don't add gum to most gluten-free baked goods, especially breads, you are apt to end up with a crumbly dry disappointment.

But is one gum better than the other? Is one more economical than the other? And how much gum do you really need to use for the best gluten-free baking results?

Are you allergic or sensitive to corn? Is your digestive tract easily upset by fiber? Are you looking to save money on your gluten-free food costs? Who isn't!

The answers to these questions will help you choose the best gum for your gluten-free recipes.

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May 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm
(1) Chemtotal says:

Guar Gum is an important ingredient in producing food emulsifier, food additive, food thickener and other guargum products. India is the largest producer of guar gum products. Its guar gum exporters, guar gum manufacturers, guar gum products suppliers, foo emulsifier exporter have reached to many countries and today there is a lot of demand for indian guar gum products, food additives, food thickener and other allied guar gum products.

Guar gum is extracted from the seed of Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, an annual leguminous plant originating from India and Pakistan, also cultivated in the United States. Guar Gum grows best in sandy soils, in areas of West, Northwest India and parts of Pakistan, which are ideal for it’s farming. Jodhpur City in the North Western state of Rajasthan in India is the most important processing center of Guar Gum and contributes approximately 40% of the world’s Guar Gum supply. Indian Guar Gum Products are exported and supplied all over the world by different guar gum exporters, guar gum manufacturers, guar gum suppliers and guar gum exporter. Many food emulsifier exporter also exports superior quality food additive, food thickener and food emulsifier.

Guar gum is an emulsifier, thickener, and stabilizer approved for use in a wide range of foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Gum Technology Stabilizers are carefully controlled blends of various food ingredients. They are mostly natural vegetable gums which come from sources such as seeds, plant exudate and marine plants. These may be blended with other hydro-colloids or food ingredients such as fats or emulsifiers.

India is famous for guar gum products and food additives. It is sold as a white to yellowish odorless powder, which is available in different viscosities depending on the desired one. One advantageous property of guar gum is that it thickens without the application of heat. Guar Gum has the following properties, which make it useful in variety of applications.

Easy solubility in cold and hot water
Film forming property
Resistance to oils, greases and solvents
Better thickening agent
Water binding capacity
High viscosity
Functioning at low temperatures

Industrial application of guar gum includes the textile industry where guar gum’s excellent thickening properties are used for textile sizing, finishing and printing. In the paper industry Guar is used as an additive where It gives denser surface to the paper used in printing. And in the explosive industry guar is mixed in Ammonium Nitrate, Nitroglycerine and Oil explosives, where it helps maintain the explosive properties of the product even in wet conditions.

In the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, Guar Gum is used as an effective binder, stabilizer, dis-integrator and thickener. In bakeries, diaries and in production of meat and, dressings and sauces, Guar is an important natural food supplement with high nutritional value, for weight gain and cholesterol reduction. In cosmetics, especially shampoos and toothpastes, guar gum is used primarily as a thickening and suspending agent. In beverages, it is used as stabilizer for preparing chocolate drinks and juices. Guar is also widely used in tobacco, leather, insecticides and pesticides, crayons, adhesives etc. Guar gum comes in different forms – from seeds to powder. Main types of Guar Gum include Guar Seed, Un-dehusked Split, Refined Split, Pulverized Guar Gum Powder, Guar Protein and Guar Meal.

July 7, 2010 at 10:01 am
(2) bhanu nagendla says:

which polymer has more viscosity out of these two xanthan gum & guar gum?

July 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm
(3) Teri says:

Xanthan gum has higher viscosity. For an in-depth graphic comparison of the viscosity of xanthan gum, guar gum, methyl cellulose, locust bean gum and sodium alginate, check out this interesting study by Jungbunzlauer.

July 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm
(4) Jenny says:

The Xanthan gum has been known to give many people the runs.. I saw a special on it on TV the other day. I am sure that it tastes better.
Kitchen Scales

March 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm
(5) Some person says:

I’m not sure how that’s possible, considering it glues things together.

September 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm
(6) Aria Digital Scales Sullivan says:

Thanks for this post. I’ve been at my wit’s end trying to figure out what to do for my daughter. Thanks again!

April 20, 2013 at 11:43 am
(7) Peggy says:

Guar Gum is more likely to cause gastrointestonal upset since it come from a legume. I use Xanthan Gum when baking and decided to try using the Guar Gum for cookies. The cookies were great, but I started developing stomach upset and diarrhea. After researching these two products – as I was preparing to try making rolls – I discovered the information about Guar gum. I will be most careful when use the Guar gum in the near future. Perhaps using some of each.

May 2, 2014 at 9:16 am
(8) Marsey says:

The Bad News

Unfortunately, xanthan gum can be bad news for some people. The gum is made from a fermented sugar, usually from corn, though it can be from wheat or soy. The sugar is fermented with the Xanthomonas campestris bacteria. The resulting product is dried and crushed into a powder. It also has a lot of fiber, 7 grams per tablespoon, which can cause gastrointestinal distress for some people.
People can have an allergic reaction to xanthan gum, either by developing an allergy to the gum itself through exposure, or by being allergic to the ingredient it is made from. For example, if the gum is made from wheat, it’s not a good idea for a person who is avoiding gluten to use it. People who are allergic to soy or corn should also be cautious. People who are sensitive or allergic to xanthan gum can experience bloating, gas, or cramping in the stomach.
Another disadvantage of xanthan gum is the price. It is considerably more expensive than other thickeners commonly used by people who avoid gluten, such a guar gum or flax seeds. It usually costs more than $1.50 per ounce. You only need a small amount of the gum in a recipe, but you also only need a small amount of an ingredient such as guar gum, which can cost significantly less.
Xanthan gum can also lower blood sugar levels. It is sometimes prescribed to people diabetes to help them control their blood sugar. A typical dose for a diabetic person is 12 grams per day.
If you are sensitive to xanthan gum, you will often be able to tell very quickly. The additive has been recognized as safe by the US Department of Agriculture and has been in use since the 1960s. Unless you experience any side effects, you can probably continue to use xanthan gum without worry. If price is a concern for you, you have a number of other options for gluten free baking.

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