We all use thickening agents, it’s sometimes hard to decide what kind of thickening agent you should use according to the recipe and what are the health benefits.
What is Xanthan Gum?
Xanthan gum has been commonly used to thicken or stabilize food and it is an active food additive. It formed as a result of fermentation by bacteria Xanthomonas Campestris. After the sugar ferments, a broth-like or goo-like substance forms. This substance becomes solid by adding alcohol to it. After which, it is dried and converted into powder.
When this powder of xanthan gum is added to any recipe which has liquid it quickly disperses making a viscous solution that is also stable. This makes xanthan gum have three major properties and which are a thickening agent, suspending agent, and stabilizing agent for various products. In 1963, scientists first discovered xanthan gum and since then they have been researching it for further use.
Scientists have determined that xanthan gum is safe to use as a food additive. Officially, the FDA has also approved the use of xanthan gum as a food additive without any limitation on the amount of intake. Xanthan gum is prepared in labs, however, it is still a soluble fiber. Those carbohydrates that your body is unable to break down are known as soluble fibers.
This makes them healthy for intake as they absorb water from the gut and turn into a gel-like substance. The gel-like substance they become causes the digestive system to perform slow digestion. Moreover, they do not even get digested which is why there are no calories absorbed when you intake xanthan gum.
What is Konjac Powder?
konjac which is also known as glucomannan is a kind of herb which is found in various parts of Asia. It has a starchy corm and tuber-like part of the stem which makes it one of the most popular herbs which grow underground. The soluble dietary fibers are taken out of the corm part of glucomannan and it is one of the richest sources for extracting soluble dietary fibers.
The most common use of glucomannan is as a substitute for gelatin. It is also used as a thickening agent widely all over the globe. Konjac works by adding texture to your food because it gives a thick appearance. Moreover, it is widely used for medicinal purposes. Various traditional Chinese medicines consist of Konjac.
However, in the western world, the use of Konjac is majorly related to dietary supplements. Since it contains a high amount of soluble dietary fibers that is why it is used for weight loss and cholesterol management as well. It also works well in regulating your bowel movement and prevents fissures and hemorrhoids in case of constipation.
Moreover, another health benefit of using Konjac is it gives a very healthy and improved skin. It also reduces acne from the skin and fights off allergic reactions. Konjac also lowers down the LDL level from your body and reduces cardiovascular diseases and helps in heart problems.
Konjac Powder vs Xanthan Gum: What’s The Difference?
- Konjac is a nonionic type of stabilizer which is why it can not be influenced by the presence of any salt in the system. At optimum temperature, it remains stable and does not precipitate even in case of PH drop below 3.3.
- Xanthan gum is an ionic type of stabilizer that gets affected by the presence of salt in the system.
- Konjac is a thermoreversible and also thermoreversible gel depending upon different situations.
- Xanthan gum will not show the gelling effect if it is used alone. However, konjac can gel at any PH if it’s used with Konjac Gum.
- Both konjac and xanthan have various health benefits which are why it is used as a dietary fiber and is commonly used in medicines. The most common benefits of xanthan and konjac are it can improve the digestive system and produces many health risks.
Hopefully, this blog helped you in finding out the difference between konjac and xanthan gum.