gum is a plant based thickening and stabilizing agent often used in
gluten-free baking. Since the gluten found in wheat must be omitted,
xanthan gum is used to give the dough or batter a stickiness,
elasticity, as well as viscosity that would otherwise be achieved with
the gluten. Xanthan gum is polysaccharide named for the bacteria,
Xanthomonas campestris, which plays a crucial role in its creation. To
create Xanthan gum, the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium is allowed to
ferment on a sugar. The result is a gel that is then dried and milled
to create the powder substance with a number of powerful properties.
Only a small amount of xanthan gum is necessary to achieve the desired
result, usually less than 0.5% of the food product weight.