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Corn Allergy -- Question Re Xanthan Gum And Namaste
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I have been reading online that Authentic Foods makes an xanthan gum that is cornfree but couldn't find verification on their website.

And read also that Namaste makes products that contain cornfree xanthan gum and I did find verification of that on their website.

Have any of you with corn allergies or sensitivities used either of these products without any problems? At present I keep substituting guar gum in anything I make because in the past any store bought product containing xanthan gum or any mix with xanthan gum caused me stomach upset or some pain in there shortly afterward.

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Ads by Google:

http://www.namastefoods.com/qa/

I am ordering your product but wondered about the XANTHAN GUM. Your ad says corn-free. Doesn't xanthan gum have corn in it or a by product?

Namaste Foods uses xanthan gum that is NOT derived from corn or corn sources. It is certified by the manufacturer to be free of all carbohydrates including corn, wheat and soy.

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I got through to Authentic Foods on the phone today. I said I was calling about their xanthan gum because I have a corn allergy and corn allergy websites are saying to avoid it because it can have corn in it. Then I said that I had read on some glutenfree baking sites that their xanthan gum was the only one to use because it was cornfree.

He said there is a lot of confusion over xanthan gum and he would explain about how it was made...said it was a bacterium and as such needed to be fed something and the something it is usually fed is corn syrup. Then he said their xanthan gum is then put through a purification process and tested and is free of corn. He also said he doesn't know the purification process that others may use and so he can't speak for the purity of other brands.

He told me to call him if I had any problems after using their xanthan gum. I told him I had stomach reactions in the past and he said it could either be because of some corn in the gum or it could just be that I am sensitive to xanthan gum itself.

Anyway I am going to try this Authentic Foods xanthan gum and one of the Namaste mixes and see how it goes. I hope it works because I don't think guar gum is always the best to use in certain things.

I did make the mistake once of trying to glutenfree bake without gums. I read some site blogs of glutenfree bakers who seem to think the glutenfree world is fooled into thinking gums are necessary for structure when they really are not needed at all. So I tried it and will never do that again. I used their substitution of flax or chia seeds in twice the amount of hot water and stirred it up and added it in. I tried it in something I could be sure of and something I never had any trouble with in using gums before. So into the bread machine it went...then it rose up filling the whole machine as if it where trying to get out of there. Then it baked and totally collapsed with the sides 1 inch high and the middle as flat as a pancake. And after throwing it out I had to spend considerable time cleaning out the mess it made in the bread machine.

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If you are corn intolerant, then it's likely okay. For those who are allergic, the issue becomes a question of what concentration a company defines as free from something. There are no guidelines for a maximum allowed ppm for a product to be free from corn, currently, so different companies can use different tests with different testing thresholds.

I've heard that somewhere below 50-100 ppm of corn was a common definition of corn free, but that's hearsay more than anything. I've never found a company that was willing or able to tell me what their test's threshold was, if they tested at all.

EDIT: I take that back - the authentic foods gentleman said theirs tested down to 2-3 ppm or so. It is tested by their manufacturer, though, not Authentic Foods itself.

The one thing I'd say about xanthan gum is this: a lot of corn allergic and corn sensitive people are looking for a xanthan gum that they can use. Mildly corn intolerant or sensitive folks I know of sometimes do okay with carefully sourced xanthan gum. It sounds like this Authentic foods one might be good in that case.

I keep an eye on some of the bloggers and the corn-free forum at Delphi, though, and unless I missed it, there were no xanthan gums that corn-allergic people recommended as safe for all their fellow corn allergic folks. A lot of them report reacting to all xanthan gums that they have tried, even the ones that label themselves as corn free. That includes the xanthan gum by Authentic Foods, it looks like. :-(

Seems like something to be aware of, just in case.

This site has a nice long list of corn free products, if you're interested, found by fellow corn allergic folks, with items removed if numerous people report reactions to them, including some binding agents recommended instead of xanthan gum, as I recall.

http://corn-freefoods.blogspot.com/

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I'd be highly skeptical of a corn "purification" process. Being celiac and corn allergic, I've never heard of such a thing - it'd be great if it existed! I've found that there is a lot of misunderstanding among manufacturers about whether or not corn is left after processing. For some reason, it seems to be a common thought that it gets "processed" out. Where does it go?! Trust me - when I react to one of these products I know it hasn't gone anywhere. Also, Namaste has had some problems in the past as to where they have their corn test done. See this post about what one major food testing site says about corn testing: http://cornfreedom.com/blog/?p=131

I've had good luck with using 1T ground flax in 3T water, microwave for 30 seconds in quick breads, but haven't found anything that works in gluten-free, corn free sandwich type breads. I think it's the holy grail!

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Thanks everyone for your help, information and other sites. I think for now I will just get a small bottle of the Authentic Foods xanthan gum and try that. I will be careful and just eat a little bit and if it bothers me will just give up on xanthan gum.

Deborah...I already feel like trying to live in the United States of Corn with a corn allergy is the holy grail. Nothing could be more overwhelming to me.

I don't know yet if I want to try this but I just got a new glutenfree book and read potato FLOUR can be used. Here is what it says: Potato flour is often used to replace xanthan gum or guar gum in gluten free baking as it adds great structure to baked products. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons per recipe (reduce or eliminate the gum ingredients accordingly) to lend a soft, chewy mouth-feel to baked goods, homemade pasta, breads, and pizza crust. Unfortunately she doesn't have any recipes in the book in which she uses it. It is just mentioned in the general information part of the book.

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I had really good luck using potato flours for quite a few years. The baked goods turned out very nicely and dredging foods in it before frying gave a really crispy coating. I found I could just leave xanthan gum out when the recipe used potato flour. Unfortunately I now have a potato allergy, so that's out! It sounds like it would be worth experimenting with using it one-for-one as a replacement. Just be sure to get potato flour, not potato starch. They work very differently!

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I had really good luck using potato flours for quite a few years. The baked goods turned out very nicely and dredging foods in it before frying gave a really crispy coating. I found I could just leave xanthan gum out when the recipe used potato flour. Unfortunately I now have a potato allergy, so that's out!

Have you ever tried sweet potato flour or starch, Deb? It's something that you can make yourself at home, so it can be found corn-free (the only sweet potato flour I've seen for sale has had additives, so was not likely to be safe).

I know how to make it, but still haven't tried it much yet. :-)

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No, I haven't - that sounds like it has possibilities! Thanks!

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Have you ever tried sweet potato flour or starch, Deb? It's something that you can make yourself at home, so it can be found corn-free (the only sweet potato flour I've seen for sale has had additives, so was not likely to be safe).

I know how to make it, but still haven't tried it much yet. :-)

Would you tell us how to make sweet potato flour? Thanks.

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Would you tell us how to make sweet potato flour? Thanks.

Sure! The method I use is one I found here: http://homeschoolblogger.com/armoorefam/47426/

She has very clear instructions with photos to go along with it. Explains it better than I could. :-)

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