Do you know the differences between Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum?
In the field of nutrition there are a large number of products and additives unknown to the common population, but indispensable for the optimal and tastiest preparation of the dishes we eat every day.
This is the case of the always well received ice cream, soups, pizzas, mayonnaise and bread to mention just a few; as well as in the field of cosmetics, in the elaboration of shampoo, toothpaste, hair care and many other products that play an important role.
What differences are there between Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum?
Firstly, it’s important to note that both ingredients of natural origin.
Xanthan gum is identified as glutenine and guar gum as glitadine.
This is where the principal difference lies, but there are other charactistics that differ between them too:
- Guar gum is used for cold foods such as ice cream, cakes, drinks and juices, although sauces are also included in its range of options. In addition, it reduces the fat in this type of dessert, something useful for avoiding weight gain.
- Meanwhile, xanthan gum is used more in bakery products, because it makes them fluff up better.
Why are they used?
By now you must be eager to find out exactly what they’re used for.
Both are used as thickeners and emulsifiers, which is why they are essential for mixtures to last together.
If you wonder why, it’s because the fat molecules in the preparation of the food you are making will not experience any separation.
These additives also make food more consistent: they give elasticity to a bread or cake you’re baking, which greatly improves its feel and taste in your mouth.
These are the kind of details we normally ignore.
Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum for Gluten-Free diets
As their name suggests, and we have pointed out previously, these natural additives bring an excellent quality of softness to breads, sweets, sauces, jellies, ice cream and juices.
With guar gum, this can also be used in breads, cakes and sauces.
Now, xanthan gum is extremely useful because it ensures that the ingredients are fluffed to a suitable point and prevents them from separating, which would turn any dish into a mess.
That’s to say, that it goes into pieces or crumbles because it can’t be kept together.
So, although there are many other products similar to these, such as corn starch, these gums turn out to be essential in a gluten-free diet because of their effectiveness.
It should be noted that xanthan gum is an additive that can be used to prepare gluten-free paste. Furthermore, as we said previously, its effectiveness in the texture of shampoos, hair masks and other cosmetic beauty products is indisputable.
How much Guar Gum should you use?
You should remember that it’s used as a thickener and stabiliser, and that it’s mainly used to give elasticity and make masses fluffier, so the amount of guar gum used in food preparation isn’t much.
There is a risk of giving the food too much viscosity.
If you remember that, you can’t go wrong.
How much Xanthan Gum?
Culinary experts advise that the amount you use depends on the thickness you want to obtain, so they suggest using between 2 and 4 grams per litre.
That’s what the culinary experts recommend.
Which is better, Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum?
If you have to decide between using guar gum or xanthan gum for the preparation of your food, you’ll be pleased to know that you can use one or the other without any inconvenience.
Remember that guar gum is better for sweets, even pet food, and xanthan gum for savoury foods. And, as we said before, the latter is also used in the cosmetics industry.
That said, experts do insist that they are both interchangable.
Like guar gum, xanthan gum is added in a liquid to increase the density of fruit and vegetable juices, as well as cocktails.
It is used to improve their appearance, especially when they have pieces of fruit or pulp. In addition, they allow these drinks to last for a long time.
You shouldn’t ignore this fact!
It’s important to know that if you’re cooking gluten-free food, especially cakes, breads and pizzas, to name just a few examples, the preparation can be a bit of a nightmare, which is why the emulsifiers, stabilising and thickening qualities are essential.
They’ll help your gluten-free preparation get that softness and texture you desire, as mentioned above.
And what about you? Which do you prefer? Tell me about your experience, I can’t wait to hear!
- “Los aditivos en la alimentación de los españoles y la legislación que regula su autorización y uso” Dr Carlos Barros Santos 2009.
- “Aditivos alimentarios, ¿Sabes lo que comes?” Afredo Ara Roldán 2013.
- “Guía completa de aditivos alimentarios” Manuel Núñez y Claudia Navarro 2013.
- “Tratado de Nutrición. Composición y calidad nutritiva de los alimentos” Ángel Gil 2010.
Here’s all the information you might need to know about the Gums featured in this article: