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I found this in another forum and found it very interesting:

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-xanthan-gum.htm

Despite its rather alien-sounding name, xanthan gum is as natural as any other fermented corn sugar polysaccharide you can name. Don't worry - I can wait.

Seriously, xanthan gum derives its name from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process, Xanthomonas campestris. Xanthomonas campestris is the same bacteria responsible for causing black rot to form on broccoli, cauliflower and other leafy vegetables. The bacteria form a slimy substance which acts as a natural stabilizer or thickener. The United States Department of Agriculture ran a number of experiments involving bacteria and various sugars to develop a new thickening agent similar to corn starch or guar gum. When Xanthomonas campestris was combined with corn sugar, the result was a colorless slime called xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is considered a polysaccharide in scientific circles, because it is a long chain of three different forms of sugar. What's important to know is that all three of these natural sugars are present in corn sugar, a derivative of the more familiar corn syrup. The Xanthomonas campestris bacteria literally eat a supply of this corn sugar under controlled conditions, and the digestion process converts the individual sugars into a single substance with properties similar to cornstarch. Xanthan gum is used in dairy products and salad dressings as a thickening agent and stabilizer. Xanthan gum prevents ice crystals from forming in ice creams, and also provides a 'fat feel' in low or no-fat dairy products.

Another use for xanthan gum is the stabilization and binding of cosmetic products. One advantage of xanthan gum is that a little goes an incredibly long way. Cosmetic manufacturers add a very small amount of xanthan gum to their cream-based products in order to keep the individual ingredients from separating. Despite the use of bacteria during processing, xanthan gum itself is not harmful to human skin or digestive systems. Xanthan gum is often used whenever a gel-like quality is sought.

Xanthan gum is also used as a substitute for wheat gluten in gluten-free breads, pastas and other flour-based food products. Those who suffer from gluten allergies should look for xanthan gum as an ingredient on the label.

One lesser-known use of xanthan gum is in the oil industry. Oil companies often use water as a lubricant for oil well pumps, but regular water is not very thick. A natural thickener such as guar gum or xanthan gum can be added to the water in order to increase its viscosity, or thickness. You could think of this as turning tap water into 10W-40 motor oil. The thickened water keeps the drill parts lubricated and displaces more of the natural oil found in the deposit area.

I wonder if xanthum gum is a problem for me? I am very limited with corn now. What a thought, xanthum gum and water in our tummy's--motor oil for us huh!!!!


Deb

Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

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Thanks for the info, although it's pretty disturbing to me. I seem to have problems with both corn and xanthan gum. I'm finding more and more that any type of non-natural and refined items cause me lots of digestive problems.

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Thanks for this info. I knew that Anne's dressings would always bother me when I would put them on my salads. I get real queezy after. I started to make my own dressings as a result of this.

I just checked and its in almost all baking mixes. It pretty hard to escape it. I can't get over how gross this is though. If I see black spots on my cauliflower I usually throw it out.

Gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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Interesting and yucky. Thanks for posting.

I am not doing really great on corn either I have noticed. I do light corn for now. Haven't ruled it out yet.

I do not seem to do really good on any baked goods. I dunno if I am just sensitive to all grains right now or..what. We'll see.


One Celiac gene and one gluten intolerance gene (HLA-DQ 2,1).

Grain free, casein free, soy/legume free + a bunch of allergies I have had since I was a child (stone fruits, nuts..carrots)

Following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but no nuts, legumes or casein.

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My father's a chemist and he used to joke that xanthan gum is basically bacteria-poop.

I'm not certain that it necessarily has to cause issues for people with corn intolerances -- since the bacteria are consuming sugars from the corn -- and those go through a transformation when they're digested -- the resulting product might not have the components (protein usually, right?) that make corn an issue.

However, this is just a hypothesis.


Erica

Inconclusive blood test results

Positive Enterolab results

Positive dietary results

gluten-free since 2/10/06

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My father's a chemist and he used to joke that xanthan gum is basically bacteria-poop.

I'm not certain that it necessarily has to cause issues for people with corn intolerances -- since the bacteria are consuming sugars from the corn -- and those go through a transformation when they're digested -- the resulting product might not have the components (protein usually, right?) that make corn an issue.

However, this is just a hypothesis.

How about people who are sensitive to molds and fungus? People with candida? I can't remember if xanthan gum is ever mentioned in the list of foods to avoid with candida.

Gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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