Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Xanthan Gum
We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “X”. Today’s ingredient is Xanthan Gum.
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide (sugar like compound) produced by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing medium. Nutritionally speaking, it is a carbohydrate with about seven grams of fiber per tablespoon.
Common names for Xanthan Gum
The most commonly used name is xanthan. Other names include xantham gum, corn sugar gum and bacterial polysaccharide.
Why is Xanthan Gum included in dog food?
Xanthan gum is used as a thickening and suspending agent in wet or canned dog foods. It has little nutritional value.
Is Xanthan Gum a commonly used ingredient in dog food?
Xanthan gum is starting to gain in popularity and is in a little over 6% of all dog foods. It has a low glycemic index and can be marketed as ‘gluten free’, which could be the reason why it is gaining popularity with pet food manufacturers.
Common benefits or risks of Xanthan Gum
Several studies have shown that xanthan gum is ‘safe’ in normal doses, for humans and pets. That said, xanthan gum requires a ‘medium’ to grow and often the medium of choice is a carbohydrate like corn, soy, dairy, or wheat, all of which are potentially allergenic substances, especially if fed over long periods of time.
Miscellaneous facts about Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is used to stabilize and bind cosmetic products.
In human foods, xanthan gum is most often found in salad dressings and sauces because it helps to prevent oil separation.
Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level
Xanthan gum gets the Slimdoggy Sad Face due to its lack of nutritional value and because it has the potential to facilitate allergic reactions in some pets.
Sources and further reading