Xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide produced from the fermentation of plant carbohydrates by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. Monosaccharide constituents include glucose and mannose 1. It is commonly added to foods, where it serves as a stabilizing agent and a thickener 2. Xanthan gum is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a food additive (21CFR172.695) 3.  Xanthan gum is also used as a skin conditioning agent, to stabilize oil-in-water mixtures and to thicken the texture of cosmetics and personal care products 4.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook. Washington, D.C.: The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, 2006.
  2. Whistler RL, BeMiller JN. Carbohydrate Chemistry for Food Scientists. St. Paul, Minn.: American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc., 1999.