chapter  15
16 Pages

Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is manufactured by biotechnological processes. The hydrocolloid is produced by the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris, classified under the name B-1459, and can successfully replace other natural gums. Numerous species of Xanthomonas produce extracellular polysaccharides and ordinarily, extracellular polysaccharides are produced by various species of microorganisms. Following their manufacture, they do not form covalent bonds with the microorganism’s cell walls, and are exuded into the culture media instead. Xanthan gum is manufactured in the United States (US), Europe, China, and Japan. The preferred production route is fermentation since it does not depend on variable factors, for instance weather conditions, and consequently a more consistent product is obtained, at a cost which is less subject to political or economic whim. The gum is regarded as a harmless food additive for, among other aims, thickening, when its use follows practical manufacturing practices. In the early 1960s, the Kelco Company in San Diego, California, started producing xanthan gum under the registered trademark Kelzan, and its use was permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1969.