Xanthan gum may boost quality of gluten free cakes: Study

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Xanthan gum, Wheat, Gluten-free diet

The addition of xanthan gum may improve the quality of gluten free cakes, leading to improved bakery products for celiac patients, according to a new review.

The study, published in the InternationalJournal of Food Science & Technology​, compared the characteristics of gluten free cakes prepared with rice and corn flours and with different concentrations of xanthan gum – finding that cakes formulated with xanthan gum “displayed improved quality characteristics such as increased specific volume, enhanced texture in terms of decreased firmness, and delayed staling.”

“Concentrations of 0.3% and 0.4% of xanthan gum produced cakes with desirable sensory characteristics with high acceptance by the consumers,”​ explained the authors, led by Dr. Leidi Preichardt, of the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil.

“The cakes resembled physically, chemically, and sensorially to the control cake made with only wheat flour. The cakes satisfied all the requirements, in a bakery product, for coeliac patients,”​ they added.

Cake quality

The researchers said that xanthan gum inclusion improved the appearance of the internal structure of the cakes, resulting in a more uniform structure than cakes formulated without xanthan gum.

“Cakes formulated with xanthan gum demonstrated a predominance of small alveoli which was similar to the structure observed in cakes formulated with wheat flour while cakes formulated with rice flour in the absence of xanthan gum presented and undesirable open and random pore structure,”​ they noted.

Preichardt and his colleagues added that the physical and sensory characteristics of the cakes increased the specific volume, making them softer and delaying their staling.

Gluten free

According to Datamonitor, the global market for gluten-free products is expected to reach more than $4.3bn within the next five years, representing growth of $1.2bn.

The researchers noted that the use of xanthan gum in cakes and bakery products could help manufacturers boost growth in the high value gluten-free market.

“The main issue coeliac patient’s face is the daily challenge to find healthy and tasty foods that do not contain gluten. These foods still must be appealing in flavour, colour, and texture,”​ said Preichardt and his colleagues

“Bakery products formulated with gluten free flour and xanthan gum may provide a vehicle to provide celiac patients foods that meet their needs,”​ they added.

Source: International Journal of Food Science & Technology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2011.02788.x
“The role of xanthan gum in the quality of gluten free cakes: improved bakery products for coeliac patients.”
Authors: L.D. Preichardt, C.T. Vendruscolo, M.A. Gularte, A.S. Moreira

Related topics: Science

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4 comments

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Anna Jacobs

Posted by Anna Jacobs,

You may think xanthan gum has lost its maize association, but my body recognises it and I still get the blurred brain effects - for 12-24 hours.

Experts are always telling us things are so when they aren't. As if we can't recognise symptoms and what triggers them!

Xanthan gum acts like a smaller dose of maize - no laxative effects to me, but the blurred brain that wheat/maize give me which is unmistakable. Like a mini dose of Alzheimers.

I am so sick of free-from products that I can't eat.

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xanthan gum origin

Posted by MarkoS,

xanthan is a product of bacterial fermentation, it could be that bacteria are fermenting some maize products, but xanthan can hardly be defined as a product with "maize association". about xanthan being a laxative is also misleading. maybe in some excessive amounts it could be, but at a dosage of 0.4%? you would have to eat a whole lot of that bread to get the effect.

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xanthan gum

Posted by Anna Jacobs,

Xanthan gum is made from maize, so those of us who are maize intolerant still can't eat products with it in. Drives me mad that so many producers use it, when guar gum is available to do the same job without the maize association.

As a result of ignorance about xanthan gum, gluten free products are not available to a significant section of the market. Stupid, isn't it? Loses you customers.

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