What is Xanthan
Xanthan has long been used as food stabiliser and emulsifier for sauces, dressings and gravies. Xanthan is normally available in powdered form and can easily be bought from speciality food stores or online. It is a polysaccharide produced by Xanthomonas bacteria. It is also a substitute for gluten and important ingredient in various gluten free diet forms. Few of the disciplines in cuisine like Modern and Molecular cuisine use xanthan for lots of purposes like stabilising fresh juices from separating, as thickener, making fruit based mayonnaise, foams etc.
Xanthan as stabiliser
Xanthan when dispersed and blended in liquid increases the viscosity of the liquid. Chemically it binds water and solid particle together to give a sense of suspension.
Vegetable and fruit juices tend to separate if left standing for some time. Blending of xanthan in the juice binds the liquid and solid particles together to give a stable suspension. I have done this for the sea buckthorn juice that we use for making sorbets and popsicles.
How to stabilise juice using xanthan
- For every 250 ml of juice add .25 grams of Xanthan
2. Xanthan takes efoort to disperse in liquid. Use of blender is helpful to disperse it in the liquid.
3. Blending xanthan in the liquid also gets lots of air in the liquid. Let the juice stand over night in the refrigerator. Or, a quick method to get rid of the unwanted air bubbles is to subject the juice to vacuum. Which ever suits you!! In our kitchen we use the vacuum machine to suck out all the air from the juice.
Other uses of xanthan
- Use xanthan with oil and fruit juice to make fruit mayonnaise.
- Blend xanthan in thin juices to get sauce like consistency.
- Use xanthan in liquids to make foams.
- To increase the mouthfeel and body of shakes.
- In ice creams for smooth mouth feel.
I do suggest you to go through this link as this downloadable book has really helped me in understanding the use of xanthan.