If you are someone who loves to cook and bake, then you may have come across xanthan gum. It is a popular food additive that helps to thicken foods and improve their texture. It is commonly used in gluten-free baking to help hold ingredients together. But where do you find xanthan gum in your local grocery store?
In this article, we will take a closer look at xanthan gum and explore the various places where you can find it in most grocery stores. We will cover everything from what xanthan gum is to what aisle it’s typically found in and what brands to look out for. So, if you’re in the market for xanthan gum, keep reading to learn more!
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide that is derived from the fermentation of glucose or sucrose. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in food products, as well as in personal care and industrial products. Xanthan gum is a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking because it helps to mimic the elasticity and texture that gluten provides in traditional baking.
Why It is Used in Baking?
Because gluten-free flours don’t contain enough of the proteins that give wheat flour its elasticity, xanthan gum is often added to gluten-free flour blends to improve their texture and binding properties. It works by surrounding the starch molecules with a gel-like substance, making them more cohesive and able to trap air, which results in the fluffy texture you want in baked goods.
Where to Find Xanthan Gum in the Grocery Store
Xanthan gum can be purchased at most major grocery stores. For grocery stores such as Kroger, Whole Foods, Safeway, Publix, Meijer and Target customers can find xanthan gum along the baking aisle near other baking ingredients like flour and sugar. At Walmart look for it near the front of the baking aisle; follow it with baking ingredients like baking powder or baking soda.
It usually comes in small bags or containers that are labelled “xanthan gum” or “gluten-free baking powder”. If you’re having trouble finding it, ask a store employee for help or search in the following places in the Grocery store.
- Baking Aisle: One of the most common places to find xanthan gum in a grocery store is in the baking aisle. Look for it near other baking essentials like flour, sugar, and baking powder. Xanthan gum is typically sold in small packets or jars and is easy to spot amongst the other ingredients.
- Gluten-Free Aisle: Many grocery stores now have a designated gluten-free aisle, and this is another great place to look for xanthan gum. Since it is a common ingredient in gluten-free baking, it is likely to be featured in this section.
- Health Food Section: If your grocery store has a health food section, then you may also find xanthan gum there. This section usually has a selection of natural and organic products, as well as speciality items for those with dietary restrictions. Xanthan gum may be located near other organic thickeners, such as agar-agar and guar gum.
What If Xanthan Gum Is Not Available in the Local Grocery Store?
Check Online: If you can’t find xanthan gum in your local grocery store, then the next best thing is to search for it online. Many online retailers specialize in selling hard-to-find ingredients, and xanthan gum is no exception. Just be sure to read reviews and check the expiration date before making a purchase.
What Should You Look for in Xanthan Gum?
When you’re looking to buy xanthan gum, make sure to check the label for purity and quality. You’ll want to look for high-quality, food-grade xanthan gum certified by reputable organizations, like the FDA or NSF International. This ensures that the product is free of contaminants and safe for human consumption.
Things to keep in mind is the expiration date. Xanthan gum can last for about two years if it’s stored in a cool, dry place, but it’s always a good idea to check the expiration date on the label to be sure.
Which Xanthan Gum Brands to Look For?
There are a few trusted brands that you can rely on. Bob’s Red Mill is a well-known producer of gluten-free products, and their xanthan gum is a popular choice for many home bakers. Other brands to look out for include NOW Foods and Anthony’s.
Benefits Of Using Xanthan Gum
Using xanthan gum has several benefits when baking gluten-free goods. It helps to bind ingredients together so they don’t separate during baking or storage. This makes it easier to create light and fluffy baked goods without using wheat flour or other gluten-containing ingredients. It also helps improve texture by adding moisture and preventing dryness. Finally, it adds structure to doughs and batters which can help them rise better during baking.
Tips for Using Xanthan Gum
If you are new to using xanthan gum, then here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Always measure xanthan gum carefully. Too much can make your baked goods gummy, while too little can cause them to fall apart.
- Only use xanthan gum in recipes that specifically call for it.
- Whisk xanthan gum into dry ingredients before adding wet ones for the best results.
- Store xanthan gum in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Xanthan gum may not be a household name, but it is a useful ingredient to have on hand, especially if you are a gluten-free baker. By knowing where to find it in your local grocery store and which brands to look out for, you can be sure to have it when you need it. Whether you are shopping in the baking aisle, the gluten-free aisle, or the health food section, xanthan gum is relatively easy to find and is a great addition to any kitchen. Happy cooking and baking!