INS 415 (Xanthan Gum) – Uses, Benefits, & Side Effects
INS 415, or Xanthan gum is a sugar-like compound that is often used as a thickener in food products and also in industrial and personal care products.
There is one food additive that you might be consuming regularly but are unaware of it. We are talking about INS 415. It is a little surprising, but it is present in plenty of things ranging from wallpaper glue to salad dressing. INS 425 is used in umpteen industrial products and is known to cause respiratory as well as digestive problems. Due to this, many people are afraid of consuming this.
However, you will be glad to know that the FDA considers xanthan gum to be safe for human consumption in the form of a food additive. It has become more popular as a supplement as well as a common ingredient in gluten-free products. INS 415 is also popularly known as Xanthan gum. It offers umpteen benefits; for instance, it lowers cholesterol as well as blood sugar level.
Here, we will share more details on the perks and limitations of using INS 415.
Necessary Know-how about INS 415
INS 415, is a food additive that finds use in foods not only as a thickener but also as a stabilizer. When Xanthomonas campestris, a specific type of bacteria ferments the sugar, it results in the creation of Xanthan Gum. On fermentation, a broth or goo-like substance is formed and can be made stable by the addition of alcohol.
After this, it is left to dry so that powder formation can take place. On coming in contact with liquid, INS 415 quickly disperses, thereby creating a viscous as well as a stable solution. It is because of this that it enjoys the prestige of being an awesome thickening, suspending as well as a stabilizing agent for various products.
Origin of INS 415
It was in 1963 that scientists discovered INS 415. After years of research since then, it has been deemed safe for human use. It is because of this that the FDA has approved using it as a food additive without placing any limitations on the quantity of xanthan gum that can be present in the food.
Despite the laboratory being the source of its origin, INS 415 is a highly soluble fiber, meaning carbs that are impossible for the body to break down. It slows down the process of digestion. This means that your body finds it challenging to digest xanthan gum, providing no calories or nutrients, for that matter.
Uses of Xanthan gum
Nowadays, xanthan gum is present in almost all the products of our everyday life. But, the two major uses of xanthan gum are:
1. Used as a thickening agent
You can find xanthan gum in a packaged food or in gluten-free baking as a thickening agent or stabilizer. Also, everyday products like toothpaste also contain INS 415.
2. Used as an emulsifier
INS 415 has the ability to bind the moisture, which helps the product in binding. It is found in medicine to prevent the products from separating.
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Food Products having INS 415
Salad dressings, bakery products, and fruit juices are some of the most common items of consumption that contain xanthan gum. In addition to these, you can also find xanthan gum in soups, ice creams, sauces and gravies, syrups, gluten-free products, and low-fat foods.
Personal Care Products having INS 415
Xanthan gum is present in umpteen personal care and beauty products like toothpaste, creams, lotions, and shampoo.
Industrial Products having INS 415
Xanthan gum is present in fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides as well. It is also present in tile, grout, oven, toilet bowl cleaners, fluids used in oil drilling, and adhesives like wallpaper glue.
Xanthan gum is thus one of the most popular additives for thickening, suspending as well as stabilizing. It is present in a lot of products and tends to be safe for human consumption. INS 415 does have a lot of health benefits in case you consume large amounts, but this high dose can also be a cause of a lot of serious problems.
Advantages of using Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum offers a plethora of potential health benefits. Here we are listing some of these perks:
1. Lower blood sugar
Consumption of INS 415 in high doses lowers blood sugar.
2. Helps to lower cholesterol
Xanthan gum is known to reduce cholesterol levels by around 10 percent.
3. Helps in weight loss
Xanthan gum tends to fill your stomach pretty fast. Consumption of INS 415 increases fullness by delaying the emptying of the stomach as well as slowing digestion. If you feel full for longer, chances are you will steer clear of ill-timed and unnecessary food cravings, resulting in calorie management.
4. Fights Cancer?
While more research is necessary, a study conducted earlier shows that INS 415 slows down the growth of cancerous tumors, thereby prolonging life. However, the study was conducted on animals, not humans, so this point stands a little weak in its validity.
5. Improves bowel regularity
Xanthan gum enhances the movement of water to the intestines, creating a softer and bulkier stool that is easy to pass and prevents constipation.
6. Thickens liquids
Xanthan gum helps in thickening the liquids and is good for those who find it difficult to swallow food.
7. Saliva Substitute
It keeps the mouth wet for all those who produce less saliva.
8. Make food products aesthetically appealing.
Xanthan gum enhances the texture as well as the consistency of food products. It also improves the flavor as well as the shelf life of a lot of food items. Also, it enhances food stability, making it easy for foods to withstand different temperatures as well as pH levels.
Side Effects of using Xanthan gum
As mentioned earlier, xanthan gum is a product of the laboratory. It is not a natural product, and its use should strictly be limited to the preservation of food, especially packaged foods that need to survive the rigor of travel. There are some limitations to using INS 415. Here we are going to shed light on some of these.
1. Digestive Issues
One of the potential adverse side effects of xanthan gum is on your stomach. It tends to upset your tummy, increases the frequency of stools and gastritis problems.
2. Cause allergy
The source of Xanthan gum is sugar. That can come from plenty of places like wheat, corn, soy, or dairy. If you are allergic to them, then you may want to avoid consuming xanthan gum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Xanthan gum is used in our everyday products. Here we have answered a few interesting FAQs on it.
1. Is xanthan gum vegetarian or not?
Yes. Xanthan gum is derived from a type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris found in plants which when fermented with sugar creates a goo-like substance. This can be used as a thickener or stabilizer in many packaged food products.
2. Does xanthan gum give you diarrhea?
When taken in large doses or uncontrolled quantities, it has been found that xanthan gum can give some people an upset stomach.
3. What can you use in place of xanthan gum?
If you are not in favor of using xanthan gum, here are a few substitutes.
- Egg whites
- Flaxseed meal and water
- Unflavored gelatin
- Agar Agar
- Guar gum
- Chia seeds powder and water
INS 415, popularly known as Xanthan gum, is a sugar-like compound that is often used in medicines and industrial and personal care products. However, there are a few limitations to its excessive usage.