Gluten Free Xanthan Gum Substitutes

In years past, you’d mainly find xanthan gum and guar gum on most gluten free product labels. Nowadays you’ll find newer ingredients such as arabic gum, formally known as gum arabic. Arabic gum is a natural gum made from the hardened sap of acacia trees found in Africa and Australia; Acacia senegal trees, found in Africa, Pakistan and India; and Acacia seyal trees, where the gum is used to treat or prevent several ailments, including digestive issues and high cholesterol. Gum arabic is a soluble dietary fiber with unique properties, and is derived of 80% fiber.

Image: Acacia Tree

Gum arabic is used in the confectionery  industry to prevent sugar from crystallizing, as a stabilizer (makes dough and batters stiffer), thickener, and emulsifier (binder; mixes oils and liquid).

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I’ve heard from some of you regarding not being able to tolerate xanthan gum or guar gum, and needing a substitute for these gums. So, I had to share this new information with you. Because most xanthan gum is derived from corn, and many of you cannot tolerate corn, arabic gum is an excellent, natural choice.

Most of you are able to tolerate guar gum. Guar gum is made from dehydrated, ground raw guar beans, also known as cluster beans. Those of you who cannot tolerate legumes, would also benefit from gum arabic or other gums.

Another substitute for guar and xanthan gum is carrageenan which is derived from moss, and is often substituted for gelatin.

And yet another xanthan gum substitute is locust bean gum, also known as carob gum, carob bean gum, and carobin. Carob gum is a vegetable gum derived from the seeds of the carob tree. It is used for thickening and jelling in the food industry, with a sweet chocolaty flavor, though the powder itself is usually light yellow in color.

Over the years I have found some recipes do not need any gums at all. When using high amounts of eggs, or fruit purees, which make excellent binders, no gums are usually needed.

If you have any further questions or advise on other guar and xanthan gum substitutes, please leave a comment below.

Tip: Adding 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon of a gum to each quart of your homemade ice cream makes for a close to  store-bought ice cream. It cuts back on ice crystals from forming and provides a nice chew.

Note: If you are gluten-intolerant, remember to check with manufacturers on cross-contamination of gluten before purchasing.

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10 Responses to Gluten Free Xanthan Gum Substitutes

  1. Mohannad says:

    Hi

    I used Xanthan gum in Orange juice but it looks very viscosity
    Please could I ask you to give me an alternatives if available for emulsion beverage?

    Thanks

  2. Janet says:

    Have you ever heard of using psyllium instead of the gums? My family has enjoyed a recipe for bread with psyllium. The bread wasn’t as ‘gummy’ and sticky when cutting.

  3. Tanya says:

    Hello there!
    I realize this is an older post, but I am hoping you will see my comment and give me your insight. :)

    When using gum arabic in lieu xanthan gum, do you use the same amount of gum arabic as the amount of xanthan gum called for in a recipe?

    Thanks,
    T

    • Hi Tanya,

      I finally got around to testing out gum arabic in a bread recipe recently. I needed to update this post, therefore, thank you for the reminder. When using equal amounts of gum arabic in a bread recipe, it did not bind the ingredients at all. I had to add my usual amount of xanthan gum to the dough to get it the ingredients to bind. However, the bread turned out much softer, a good thing! I need to experiment it with it more. It may be that it needs to be used in much larger amounts or for a thickener in cold ingredients like salad dressings.

      When I get experiment further, I will update this post.

      Carla

  4. lynette dumont says:

    Carrageenan is carcinogenic due to the chemicals used to extract the substance from it’s red algae source. The following link lists substances to avoid, and the list is long.

  5. Clarissa says:

    More recently I have used ground slippery elm bark, refined fenugreek gum, pectin and regularly use ground chia seeds – grind them fresh. The juice of prickly pear fruit is looking promising.

  6. Laura Fesmire says:

    Thank you so much for this information!!

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