Xanthan gum is a versatile hydrocolloid that is used as a thickener in a wide range of food products including sauces, soups, dressings, beverages, baked goods, desserts and beverages. A polysaccharide, it is produced by fermentation of corn sugar using the Xanthomonas Campestris bacteria.
Until now the ingredient has been graded according to its viscosity, as measured in a 1 per cent solution of potassium chloride. Other functionalities such as suspension and mouthfeel in particular applications, and synergies with other hydrocolloids like guar gum and locust bean gum, could not be measured.
With its new Grinsted range Danisco is claiming a breakthrough that will differentiate it in the marketplace, as it found a way to make xanthan gum to different specifications, and a quality control test to judge how they works in different applications.
The result is five different xanthan gums, each tailored suit different applications: SAV for savoury applications (soups, sauces, dressings etc); BAK for baking; DAI for dairy; BEV for beverages; and MAS for miscellaneous applications like meat and processed cheese.
Different grades are also offered within each application category, depending on a customers’ needs for hydration and dispersal.
Eric Goron, product manager for xanthan, told FoodNavigator.com that the new range can help ensure a constant performance and greater efficiency. This translated into lower doses – up to 30 per cent in a salad dressing, with the same results – and cost savings.
The company was working for two years on the project. Goron said the patented technology still involves fermentation and product labelling is exactly the same as existing xanthan gum (E415), but declined to give away any more details.
“We really think this is a breakthrough,” he said, adding that Danisco will continue to offer its standard xanthan product to customers that use it, but will focus its promotional efforts on the new range from now on.
Euromonitor International calculates the global market for xanthan gum to have been 68,289.5 tonnes in 2008. In absolute terms this represents growth of 14.1 per cent overall since 2003.