8 Best Xanthan Gum Substitutes

by John Staughton last updated -

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Xanthan gum substitutes aren’t difficult to find, but knowing how they differ in terms of nutrition and flavor is critical.

What is Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a type of exopolysaccharide that is excreted by certain microorganisms, primarily plant-pathogenic bacteria. Once it is isolated, it can be used as a thickening agent and ingredient in many common products, such as ice cream, cosmetics, yogurt, lotions, and salad dressings. After being precipitated with alcohol, xanthan is dried and then ground into a powder. It is often used in protein powders and other supplements to provide texture and volume.

A xanthan gum substitute may be necessary for people who have an allergy or intolerance to the substance, or those who need to use it on a large scale and want to save money since this substance can be expensive.

Substitutes for Xanthan Gum

The best xanthan gum substitute options include agar, carrageenan, arrowroot, guar gum, cornstarch, egg whites, psyllium seed husks, gelatin, and cornstarch, among others.

Agar

This vegetarian alternative to gelatin can help to add bulk to foods and it stabilizes ingredients as they cook.

chia seeds xanthum substitute

Egg Whites

Working as a leavening agent and a binding agent, egg whites are popular in baked goods and desserts to give a fluffy texture.

Chia Seeds

Not only are these seeds high in fiber, they also provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which xanthan gum does not provide.

Psyllium Husks

When these husks are ground down, they make a soluble fiber-rich powder that can be an excellent thickener and binding agent when exposed to water, similar to xanthan gum.

Gelatin

When collagen breaks down, it creates gelatin, a sticky substance that is an ideal alternative to xanthan gum in baked goods.

Cornstarch

With a similar consistency to xanthan gum, cornstarch is a great filler for your recipes if you need more volume.

Guar Gum

A white powdery substance often used in cream sauces and soups as a thickening agent, this is an ideal substitute for xanthan gum.

Carrageenan

Obtained from the red algae, Irish moss, carrageenan is a plant-based product that can be used in place of gelatin or xanthan gum in cakes, pastries, dairy products, and more.

Arrowroot

With a similar consistency to cornstarch, arrow acts as a thickening agent and can be used to replace xanthan gum.

Ground Flaxseeds

Known as a great binding agent, ground flaxseeds are also some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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