Many people mistakenly assume when I mention my food allergy that I’m referring to gluten. Unfortunately, corn is even more prevalent in allergen- friendly foods because it’s not considered one of the “Top 8.”
Similar to cellulose, Xanthan Gum is a sugary residue named for the species of bacteria that secretes fermented corn/ soy/ wheat (major allergens). It’s the very same bacteria responsible for black rot that forms on broccoli, cauliflower and other leafy vegetables. So proceed with caution if you’re sensitive to mold.
Next, Isopropyl Alcohol is added. Then the dried residue is scraped off. (Incidentally, one particular strain of X. campestris will grow on lactose, which aids the production of whey, which is a biproduct of cheese).
Xanthan gum is mostly used as a thickening agent and/or ingredient binder in gluten free cooking but it also has uses in cosmetics and oil drilling.