Rezka Nayatama


Xanthan and Konjac Gum

Hydrocolloid essentially is a food thickening and stabilizer agent. One of the impacts of hydrocolloid usage in food is to enhance its texture without changing its taste. There are several types of hydrocolloids, all function as a stabilizer and to add volume to the particular ingredient.

As we focus on Konjac Gum or Glucomannan, researching other well-known Gum such as Xanthan Gum, one of the varieties of hydrocolloid, is derived from microbial processes. Xanthan Gum is produced through glucose liquid fermentation process or sucrose by Xanthomonas campestris bacteria or phaseoli, the liquid result of the said fermentation process needs to go through several disparate processes to then result into Xanthan Gum.

The behavior of Xanthan Gum is that it is easily dissolvable in water, but not easily digestible by humans. As a food additives, it is really stable and considered as a product that is safe to use as approved by FDA.

Whereas Glucomannan itself as we have mentioned previously is a rich source of soluble dietary fiber. Glucomannan is a type of hydrocolloid sourced from Amorphophallus plant extract which is easily found in Asia. Glucomannan is located at the plant roots, that is processed using ethanol liquid, it is then dried to then become flour. Different from Xanthan Gum, Glucomannan is a fiber that is easily digestible, therefore one of its uses is to help in weight loss. 

Therefore when we compare both Gums there are several factors that come into play. As a stabilizing property, since Glucomannan is a nonionic stabilizer, you should prefer Glucomannan as its action and thickening properties will remain the same if your food ingredients or recipe contains salt. Whereas, Xanthan Gum is the other way around. 

Glucomannan can be considered as the correct substitute for Xanthan Gum due to its behavior and high fiber content. Glucomannan does hold a lot of health benefits that can be used on gluten-free formulation. Glucomannan does provide many health benefits if it is compared to the usage of Xanthan Gum.