How to preserve xanthan gum

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how to preserve xanthan gum” and discuss the different methods used to preserve xanthan gum.

How to preserve xanthan gum

Xanthan gum can be preserved by :

  • Storing in powdered form in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Prehydrating to a gel and refrigerating.

Xanthan gum is a thickening and stabilizing ingredient available as a powder. It is produced through the fermentation of sugars by a bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris. Xanthan gum is increasingly being used in vegan and gluten-free recipes. The solution of xanthan gum can tolerate a wide range of pH (2–12), high concentration of salt, and temperature > 95 ◦C. It is resistant to salinity, is environment-friendly, and biodegradable. It gives good water-binding properties in baked products, also prolongs the shelf-life and storage stability of products (1).

A small amount of xanthan gum has a big effect on the thickness and stability of a dish. This means that only a small amount of xanthan gum is needed for a dish. The remaining xanthan gum will clump and spoil quickly if it is not properly stored.

Because of the high polarity of the carbohydrate chain build up of glucuronic, pyruvic acids and acetic acid esters of xanthan gum, it is very hygroscopic, that is, it absorbs water from the environment very easily. This makes the xanthan gum susceptible to spoilage, thus, being exposed to air containing water, and absorbing it, xanthan gum can suffer textural changes and also bacterial spoilage (2).

How to prehydrate and refrigerate xanthan gum

Prehydrated xanthan simply gum means adding water. Mixing xanthan gum with water will make a gel. This xanthan gel can be stored in the refrigerator. Since the gel already has water added to it, it will not absorb moisture from the surroundings and will not clump together.

To make xanthan gel:

  • Add 2 cups of water into a blender.
  • Turn on the blender to a low speed.
  • Gently add 9 g (1 tablespoon) of xanthan powder to the blender.
  • Slowly increase the speed to medium.
  • Process for about 2 minutes. You will know the gel is done when the powder dissolves into a gel with no clumps.
  • Transfer the gel into an airtight container.
  • Label and place in the refrigerator.

Advantages of pre hydrating xanthan gum include:

  • Lower chance of clumping when added to dishes. Xanthan gel dissolves easily.
  • Easier to measure out for cooking.

The xanthan gel will be good to use for about 1 month. If you are planning to use a lot of xanthan gum in a short time, pre-hydrating it to a gel is a good idea.

How to store xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is easy to store. Simply store it in the pantry

Some tips to store xanthan gum: 

  • Store the xanthan gum in its original packaging until you open it. 
  • You can place it on the kitchen counter or inside a cupboard, away from sunlight.
  • After opening the package, place it in an airtight container. Make sure that the container is completely dry airtight. Xanthan gum easily absorbs moisture from the surrounding.
  • Store the container inside a cool, dry cupboard.

Should you refrigerate xanthan gum?

For most food ingredients, refrigerating is a sure-fire way to increase the shelf-life, But this is not true for xanthan gum.

Xanthan gum is in powdered form. It easily absorbs the moisture from the surroundings. Both refrigerating and freezing will cause the xanthan gum to become clumpy. This moisture will also shorten the lifespan of xanthan gum.

Although it is not recommended, you can place your xanthan gum in the fridge, but you must thaw it at room temperature before adding it to a dish.

There is a way to store xanthan gum in the fridge. We will discuss this next.

The solubilized gels made with xanthan gum can be refrigerated for longer periods and even frozen for short periods of time. The gel can maintain its water holding capacity and emulsifying properties (4).

Does xanthan gum expire

Xanthan gum comes with an expiry date provided by the manufacturer. It is safe to use xanthan gum a few days after the expiry date. Older and expired xanthan gum will be of lower quality. So you have to use a bit more in your recipes for the same thickening effect.

Xanthan gum is a highly stable polysaccharide not easily degraded by most microorganisms. Generally, xanthan gum has a shelf-life of about 3 years. Experimental observations report that xanthan gum solutions did not deteriorate when stored in tightly closed containers (unsterile) at room temperature for 10 years (3).

It is better to purchase xanthan gum in small-size packaging. This will allow you to use it up within the shelf-life. 

How to use xanthan gum in cooking

Xanthan gum is used in baking as well as in emulsifying smoothies and drinks. 

Let’s look at how to use xanthan gum in recipes. 

  • Xanthan gum does not have to be heated. You can simply add it to a juice or smoothie. 
  • You must mix while adding xanthan gum so that it doesn’t form clumps. Mixing with a blender will provide the best results.
  • You can change the exact amount of xanthan gum added depending on how thick you want the dish to be.

Generally, you must never use more than 1 tablespoon of xanthan gum in any recipe. 

  • For general recipes: For 1 cup of liquid, use ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum.
  • For juices and drinks with sugar: For 1 cup of liquid, use ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum.

Mixing the xanthan gum with sugar before adding it to the drink will prevent clumping.

  • For sauces: Mix the xanthan gum with a bit of oil. This would give a better texture to the sauces.

You can find 10 great recipes with xanthan gum here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to preserve xanthan gum” and discussed the different methods used to preserve xanthan gum.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.


  1. Riaz, Tahreem, et al. A review of the enzymatic, physical, and chemical modification techniques of xanthan gum. Int J Biol Macromol, 2021, 186, 472-489.
  2. Torres, María D., et al. Water adsorption isotherms of carboxymethyl cellulose, guar, locust bean, tragacanth and xanthan gums. Carbohyd polym, 2012, 89, 592-598.
  3. Cadmus, Martin C., et al. Biodegradation of xanthan gum by Bacillus sp. Appl Environ Microbiol, 1982, 44, 5-11.
  4. Naji, Sara, Seyed Razavi, and Hojjat Karazhiyan. Effect of freezing on functional and textural attributes of cress seed gum and xanthan gum. Food Bioproc Technol, 2013, 6, 1302-1311.
  5. Sworn, Graham. 17 Xanthan Gum. Food Stabilisers, Thickeners and Gelling Agents. 2009, 325.