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BTD Forums    Diet and Nutrition    Eat Right 4 Your Type  ›  Xanthan gum
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Xanthan gum  This thread currently has 1,218 views. Print Print Thread
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mondurvic
Monday, February 19, 2007, 6:51am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Does anyone know anything about xanthan gum, which is called for in a lot of the wheat-free recipes I've seen.  I looked it up in Wikipedia, so know it comes from sugar, but I can't find anything on the BTD site, so don't know if it's acceptable for Type B's.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Judy
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Melissa_J
Monday, February 19, 2007, 7:35am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I think it's unclassified per BTD, although it's usually corn-derived.  Most gums and stabilizers are bad news for the digestive tract, and many intensify the effect of avoids.

As for me, I react badly and weirdly to all fermented corn derivatives (xanthan gum, citric acid, corn alcohol-based natural flavors, to name a few), so I avoid it.

How to apply that advice to a particular recipe is something I'm still learning, though I often use flax seeds.


Type O+ blogger, secretor afterall. Gluten intolerant. With two gluten intolerant sons:  A+ Secretor 10 yo (also fructose intolerant and slightly egg allergic), and  O- 7yo.
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Lola
Monday, February 19, 2007, 5:24pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted Text
We have no rating for cellulose gum or xanthan gum per se. With few exceptions, gums enhance the effects of lectins. Cellulose gum may be one of those exceptions if memory serves me well, but xanthan gum is something to stay away from if at all possible.


http://www.dadamo.com/bloggers/otd/archives/00000542.htm


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longshot
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 1:41am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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I dont know if anyone here watches Top Chef, but Marcel used xanthum gum and all sorts of other artificial things in his cooking. Specifically, he used xanthum gum in the final episode to create thickness without cooking something. All I could think to myself was, "I dont want to put xanthum gum in my body!!!" Im glad he didnt win. He was a mad scientist, not a chef
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Cathy
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 7:30pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Longshot, I find that interesting what you said about xanthum gum.  I will have to remember that next time I read the ingredients to the foods I by.  I didn't know it thickened without cooking....I think I'd stay with my arrowroot powder.
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Alia Vo
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 8:22pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Most vegetable gums enhance lectin activity.

I believe this type of gum is used in commercial breads as an emulsifier.

Alia


Alia A. Vo
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linnsmama
Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 4:38pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Xanthan gum is a fermented derivative of corn sugar, if my memory serves me.

I have a friend who is very allergic to it.  He exhibits all the symptoms of food poisoning if he gets just a little bit of it.  Since it's in virtually every commercial salad dressing in the US,  (including Annies), shows up in many salsas, every cream cheese I've seen and many many other places, it can make eating away from home a minefield for him.

Personally, I avoid the stuff wherever possible and never use it to create bread substitutes.  I don't know much about type B eating, but I can make most "breads" for my type A family using low-gluten flours like spelt, rye and kamut.  My latest creation of rye flour chocolate chip cookies was a big hit with my family as well as the neighbors.  No Xanthan gum necessary!

Robin
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Cathy
Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 10:40pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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If a recipe calls for xanthan gum what would be the best substitute for it?
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Lola
Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 11:18pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I d add ground linseed instead.


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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kate4975
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 12:55am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Any thoughts on whether xanthan gum is an avoid? I see guar gum on the Nomad Condiments/Additives List but not xanthan, although I thought that was corn based. So many gluten-free bread recipes I've found call for xanthan gum and I can't find a suitable substitute suggestion anywhere.


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jayneeo
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 1:20am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I noticed this on gatherers list also.....was waiting for someone to ask.....I am assuming that it is not so bad.....for now...
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kate4975
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 1:26am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Well, I hope I find a decent recipe soon. I'm really missing my fried egg sandwiches!


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Mercedes
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 1:42am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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xanthum gum is made from adding a bacteria to glucose (corn syrup), fermenting it, and feeding corn for the bacteria to grow. Up to you how you want to treat it, but for me it's pretty corn ish, and therefore evil ish... However, I have been known to let it slide if it's in something absolutely delicious... but for the most part I avoid it. (perhaps treat it as a black dot avoid)

There's lots of things that weren't mentioned like citric acid, ascorbic acid, citric acid, erythritol, maltodextrin, etc., that may not be good, but are in such small quantities in foods that they may not be worth mentioning... or it could be there wasn't enough space to add every single additive out there..
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eh
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 2:15am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kate,

I am in the same boat. Xanthan in gluten free baking seems to be standard. Some people who are allergic to corn are also allergic to xanthan gum but that doesn't necessarily mean that it'll affect us negatively.

At the moment, I'm eating rice mountain bread (wraps), but they are only 70% rice (the rest of the ingredients are water and wheat). I'm not trying to lose weight as I'm in the healthy/normal range and an ectomorph, however, I already feel lighter after one week on the diet. I also feel a little lightheaded. Wierdly ungrounded. I miss my cheese sandwiches (white bread) - I never had a problem with these.
eh


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Lloyd
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 2:25am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The general rule is that if it is not on the toxin list, it is okay. That said, I would use moderation, as it's not on the superfood list either. A commonsense approach is sometimes called for. Hunters, as an example, are allowed a bit of corn here and there.

Even on BTD I allowed myself trace amounts of corn in some supplements.
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Melissa_J
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 3:44am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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It is hard to avoid in gluten free foods, that's for sure.  I only avoid it because I have a reaction to it.

Have you tried the flax bread focaccia recipe I posted?  
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breads/r/flaxbasicfoc.htm?p=1

It really is good, and it's easy to make.  Flax meal and eggs are the primary ingredients. (I'm not familiar with the nomad food lists yet, so check the ingredients against that, taking  care to avoid corn in the baking soda).


Type O+ blogger, secretor afterall. Gluten intolerant. With two gluten intolerant sons:  A+ Secretor 10 yo (also fructose intolerant and slightly egg allergic), and  O- 7yo.
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MyraBee
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 5:26am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thanks for the link--it looks yummy!


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eh
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 6:04am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thank you Melissa. I have an increased respect and compassion for the coeliacs in the face of  the mountain of wheat products...


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Schluggell
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 8:58am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Xanthan Gum, Goma Xantana, Guma Ksantanowa, Xanthaangom, E415

Produced by fermenting Glucose or Sucrose with Xanthomonas campestris bacterium and some other odd chemical steps...Producing a polysaccharide Biopolymer some people are allergic to {thus its Enumber as used in the EU}.

Of concern is that many sweeteners may be used to produce it -but this will never be stated on the package. But primarily you can presume in the US corn will be used simply due to cost....


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kate4975
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 6:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Melissa_J
It is hard to avoid in gluten free foods, that's for sure.  I only avoid it because I have a reaction to it.

Have you tried the flax bread focaccia recipe I posted?  
http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breads/r/flaxbasicfoc.htm?p=1

It really is good, and it's easy to make.  Flax meal and eggs are the primary ingredients. (I'm not familiar with the nomad food lists yet, so check the ingredients against that, taking  care to avoid corn in the baking soda).


Thanks for the recipe Melissa. Since I am culinarily-challenged can you help me figure out a couple things? I would use agave syrup instead of artificial sweetener. I know agave is sweeter than sugar and I believe artificial sweeteners are also so can I use an equal measure of agave?

Also, since I can't use baking powder I've read that I can add baking soda to the dry ingredients and yogurt or molasses to the wet ingredients to achieve the same effect. To replace 1 T baking powder, I would need to use 3/4 t baking soda and 1-1/2 CUPS yogurt (which is more than the total other liquids in the recipe so I couldn't adequately compensate for the extra moisture unless I also reduced the eggs?) or 3/4 t baking soda and 3/4 c molasses (again more than the amount of water called for so would I reduce eggs?).  

My other option is to use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda. However, cream of tartar is also a Nomad avoid so I found that I can use 3X as much lemon juice in its place. In this recipe, that would mean 3/4 t baking soda and 5-5/8 t lemon juice. I can certainly experiment but I would appreciate input from you more adventurous cooks to save myself some time and ingredients!


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Carol the Dabbler
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 6:48pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I am finding that many gluten-free homemade baked goods simply don't need xanthan gum (which I don't use at all).  In particular, gluten-free cookies and muffins tend to turn out just fine with no additives.  They may not have exactly the same texture as a wheat-flour product, but so what?


Carol

A+ nonnie married to an A+ secretor
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funkymuse
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 6:51pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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Kate... for the sweetner, why don't you try powdered stevia?

But I'd sure like to know as well what to replace the baking powder with!  Thanks so much.
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kate4975
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 9:20pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from 1323
Kate... for the sweetner, why don't you try powdered stevia?

But I'd sure like to know as well what to replace the baking powder with!  Thanks so much.


No Stevia for us Nomads. Agave is fine and I've also found granulated cactus honey (it has maltodextrin so I only use it when I truly feel I need a granulated sweetener). Vegetable glycerin is also a superfood but I haven't found any yet. I also found Date Sugar from Bob's Red Mill, which should be a good sub for brown sugar so I'm super-excited. I will find a way to have my baked goods!

I don't have the GTD book yet so I haven't seen the Hunter food lists but I used to use a combination of 2 parts baking soda, 2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part arrowroot powder--I used it measure for measure in place of baking powder. The baking powder substitutes I mentioned in my earlier post were from http://www.foodsubs.com. There were others as well but they all had avoids for Nomads.



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funkymuse
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 9:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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THank you...
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Ribbit
Friday, January 11, 2008, 2:59am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Melissa, I made that flax bread for my husband and he loved it!  I drizzled a mixture of olive oil and fresh-pressed garlic over it then baked it to make garlic bread.

To all:  If you're going to use lemon juice and baking soda instead of baking powder (which is an avoid I assume because of the corn starch in storebought, and arrowroot in homemade), you have to add it just before pouring it into the baking dish.  So unlike a regular recipe where you'd just mix it all up and dump it in your pan, you have to mix up everything except one of the two volatile ingredients (say, leave out the lemon juice), make sure your pan is all ready to go straight into the oven, then pour in your lemon juice, stir quickly, and dump in the pan while it's "fizzing."  That way you don't lose all your fluff in the mixing bowl.  You'll have all your fluff in your pan, which you're going to stick directly in the oven.

Has anybody tried using sweet rice flour (that really gummy stuff from asian markets) in place of xanthan gum or arrowroot?


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

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