How to use and nutritional value

Xanthan gum is a food additive that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is also known as xanthan, but may appear on food product labels under the discreet name E415.

The popularity of this additive is mainly due to the fact that it can serve as a substitute for some foods adapted to celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Next we’re going to look at what it is, where we can get it, and what we know about xythan gum’s effects on our health.

What exactly?

It is a polysaccharide (a type of sugar made up of several simple sugars or monosaccharides). It is produced by a bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, medium a process Sugar fermentation

This process produces a viscous liquid Later solidified After this with alcohol, it is dried and then turned into a powder. This powder is a substance used as an additive: it is capable of giving great viscosity when added to a liquid.

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Discovered in the 1960s, xanthan gum is a soluble fiber, a carbohydrate that is not processed by our bodies in conventional ways. This means that it does not provide us with nutrients or calories.

What is it used for and where do we get it?

Thickeners that add a lot of viscosity to a very small amount.

This additive It can be found in a wide range of foods (sauce, soup, ice cream, gluten-free products…) but also in other contexts, such as in healthy products such as toothpaste or some creams.

What is its nutritional value?.

This additive is used for its benefits (as we said before, with a little addition we can thicken a recipe a lot and it is very useful for gluten-free products), but in its use we have found some potential advantages of its use. .

We do not absorb it, but it is processed by the gut microbiota. This means that it does not provide us with calories and that it serves as food for the bacteria that live in our intestines, that is, it is a prebiotic, as is usually the case with foods rich in fiber.

Some research indicates that this additive can helps reduce The amount of sugar in our blood, although it is necessary to take this supplement in high amounts to achieve this. This would be due to the thickening effect of matter, experts believe. Gum will make the liquid in our digestive system more viscous, which Absorption will be slow As nutritious as sugar.

This is the best documented benefit, but other studies have found some other more or less positive effects, from Cholesterol reduction up to one Better gastrointestinal regularity. The possibility has even been documented that this substance can Development is slow melanoma, although we have very limited evidence.

Is it safe?

Authorities in charge of food quality control consider this additive to be safe. This is done by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) American and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority)

EFSA carried out in 2017 A reappraisal This food additive to better understand the potential risks arising from its use. They tested its effects in children and adults depending on the dose, without finding serious problems at moderate consumption levels.

For example, in adults they found that the main problem with these consumptions (up to 214 mg per kg of body mass) was the only problem that occasionally occurred was stomach discomfort. This may be due to the prebiotic effect of these gums, which can change our microbiota and Increase the amount of gas In our gut.

There are some other considerations to take into account. This additive, Classified as “Tolerable”. By the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), may not be convenient for some demographic groups. For example, in premature babies, people including certain allergies Food and patients taking certain medications such as antidiabetics.

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