Xanthan Gum was discovered in 1960 by a USDA team of researchers and approved as a food additive in 1968. It is often listed in the ingredients of a variety of edible products. This ingredient is processed by adding a bacteria to fermenting corn, dried and ground into a fine powder. It is used to help other ingredients remain blended as well as being a good thickener. When used in ice cream, it helps maintain the creamy texture.
For people with gluten allergies, this item has become a popular addition to breads made without wheat and other glutenous grains by giving the dough a tacky consistency. One should use caution though since some xanthan gum has been processed using wheat.
Only a small amount of this product is needed to provide the needed results. There are seven grams of carbohydrates in one tablespoon and may cause bloating in certain individuals.