- Good salt/PH tolerance.
- High low shear viscosity (good suspending properties).
- High viscosity at low concentration.
- Maintains its viscosity profile with temperature.
- Good enzyme resistance.
- Safe, food approved.
Xanthan gum was discovered by the United States Department of Agriculture, which screened a large number of biopolymers for their potential uses. It was brought into commercial production by CP Kelco (EU) under the trade name KELTROL®/KELZAN® (EU) in the early 1960s and approved for food use in 1968. It is accepted as a safe food additive in the USA, Canada, Europe, and many other countries, with E number E415.
Xanthan is an anionic polymer that has an MW of 2-7.5 million Daltons and forms a 5-fold helical structure in water. It is produced by fermentation of glucose (EU) or sucrose (EU) by Xanthomonas campestris (EU) and is precipitated by the addition of isopropyl alcohol (EU). The precipitate is then dried and milled to the desired size. The largest global producers are Deosen Biochemicals, CP Kelco, Jungbunzlauer (EU), and ADM.
Xanthan variants commercially available include:
- KELTROL® T (Xanthan) by CP Kelco for clear products.
- KELTROL® F (Xanthan) by CP Kelco has a 1% solution viscosity of 1350 cps.
- KELTROL® Advanced Performance (Xanthan) by CP Kelco is much easier to hydrate in difficult media, even in the presence of solvent or salt, and is better for suspending solids in thin dispersions than regular grade xanthan. A 1% solution has a viscosity of13K cps.
- AMAZE™ XT (Dehydoxanthan) by AkzoNobel is a specially processed xanthan gum that has significantly higher viscosity than normal grades. However, it has reduced electrolyte tolerance, 1% 38K cps with 3% salt 10K cps.
- NOMCORT® Z (Xanthan) by Nisshin Oillio/Ikeda Corporation is specially processed to increase apparent molecular weight and viscosity, 1% 17K cps.
Products available in Europe: AMAZE™ XT (AkzoNobel) | NOMCORT® Z (Ikeda Corporation)
- Xanthan can easily be dispersed into water by first making a dispersion containing Propanediol (EU), Propylene (EU) or Butylene Glycol (EU) at a ratio of 3 parts glycol and 1 part Xanthan. When added to water, this dispersion immediately thickens without any undispersed lumps or fish eyes.
- Small quantities of sodium chloride (EU) significantly increase the viscosity. A 1% solution of KELTROL® F has a viscosity of 1350 cps without salt and 3090 cps with .5% sodium chloride.
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