A Comparison of Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum

Guar gum powder and xanthan gum are two products that have an incredibly diverse range of uses, and both are also used extensively in gluten-free cooking. The use of gums is vital to the preparation of gluten-free foods, particularly baked goods, because they serve as a binder for ingredients. This is something that is normally accomplished through the use of flour and wheat-based products, but since gluten-free baking doesn’t use wheat, it’s necessary to substitute with a type of gum.

The Similarities of Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum

To fully compare these two products, it’s first important to look at the similarities. Both guar gum powder and xanthan gum are used to hold together the ingredients during cooking, and in particular baking. They thicken foods and prevent ingredients, such as oil, from separating. These products also allow baked goods to be light and fluffy, as compared to heavy and dense.

Guar Gum

Guar gum originates in India, whereas xanthan gum is native to Asia. It comes from the guar bean, and can be used to keep larger ingredients in a baking recipe, such as nuts or raisins, from sinking to the bottom of the batter. Guar gum is also ideal for use in cold food items, such as smoothies, because it prevents the formation of ice crystals. Guar gum is highly potent, and is also used to thicken sauces and gravies, much like cornstarch.

Xanthan Gum

When used for baking, xanthan gum is most beneficial for trapping air in baked goods. This trapped air is what makes the food taste and feel light and airy. Xanthan gum begins as a microorganism and it’s fed with corn and soy, which means it’s not advisable for use by individuals with allergies to these products. Xanthan gum is more appropriate for use in foods that have a high level of acidity or are made with yeast.

Ideally, guar gum and xanthan gum can be used in combination with one another for optimal results. Each product has its own set of unique characteristics that bring specific benefits to cooking. At first, using either product may seem exotic or unusual, but in actuality both guar gum and xanthan gum can be found in many grocery and health food stores, particularly as the products become more visible because of their importance in gluten-free cooking.

AXIOS International Traders is the world’s most sought-after source of guar gum powder. The international trading company is based in Florida and can be reached by visiting Axiostrading.com.

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