Xanthan Gum

Before my celiac diagnosis I’m not sure I’d ever heard of xanthan gum, nonetheless spent any time thinking about or learning about xanthan gum. As many gluten-free bakers know, xanthan gum is the glue that holds gf-baking together. I learned this quickly (although I still haven’t ventured into the world of gluten-free baking, but did pick up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum for the moment I’m ready).

Today at work we had “cake” for my husband’s birthday (yes, we are lucky enough to work together) and our co-worker made gluten-free, nut-free, vegan chocolate cupcakes with avocado-chocolate icing. They were delicious! Everyone enjoyed them, and I was lucky enough to get to enjoy them too which means a lot to me. She is also gluten-free so I trust her kitchen and baking knowledge which is even better.

While everyone enjoyed the cupcakes I started chatting with another co-worker who said, “Can you eat xanthan gum? I heard not all xanthan gum is gluten-free?”

WHAT?! Wait. Back up!

I never even heard of xanthan gum until I heard about it in correlation with gluten-free baking. How could it NOT be gluten-free?

TO GOOGLE!

Wikipedia told me more about xanthan gum – scroll down to “Allergies”.

Xanthan gum may be derived from a variety of source products that are themselves common allergens, such as corn, wheat, dairy, or soy.

WHAT?! So now I need to know where the xanthan gum comes from? Has anyone else heard of this? Any other celiacs have any problems with xanthan gum? Brands to avoid? Brands to buy?

Also

Xanthan gum is a “highly efficient laxative”

OH!!!!! That explains what’s been going on today… (TMI) After 2 months of gluten-free eating with very little gluten-free baking I may have overdone it this weekend. After finding a local gluten-free baking and buying all the things, in less than 2 days I ate gluten-free ciabbata bread, 2 gluten-free mocha chocolate cookies, a gluten-free brownie, and a gluten-free cake pop. I had a tummy ache today to say the least. But it was different than my “I-got-glutened” stomach aches, so I knew it wasn’t that. I thought it was all the sugar, or maybe all the wine, but after reading this new little fact about xanthan gum, I think I found the culprit.

So, a warning to new celiacs and gluten-free eaters – like all else, all things in moderation. Don’t go crazy on the gluten-free baking. Even though the gluten won’t cause stomach aches, the xanthan gum might.

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3 responses to “Xanthan Gum

  1. Ah yes, I always stick to things that say GF when it comes to baking. I use Bob’s Red Mill Xanthan Gum (which is labelled GF), and haven’t had any problems. I haven’t notices the laxative effect either, thank goodness! Good luck on your baking adventures!!

    • Thanks Kaila! I hadn’t even thought to check the label of xanthan gum before, but I think I picked up Bob’s Red Mill anyways. I haven’t opened the package but hope to start experimenting soon.

  2. Hahaha, TO GOOGLE!!!

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