Gellan gum refers to a non-natural highly viscous fiber produced by Sphingomonas elodea, a non-pathogenic bacterium. However, the product can also be obtained commercially by fermentation process. The fibre exists in two forms, namely: high acyl as known as HA and low acyl, LA.
The fiber quickly forms a gel at low concentrations upon cooling of the solution at a high temperature in the presence of gel cations.
Uses and Benefits of Gellan Gum
Gellan gum is highly useful in the food industry to manufacture food additives. The additive is used in the food industries to prevent the ingredients from changing form as a result of varying temperature changes. Additionally, in gastronomy cooking, the substance helps to prevent ingredients from melting. Gellan gum is useful in binding and stabilization of substances like food.
Gellan gum boosts digestion in the body thwarting constipation. The substance has been proven to lower constipation levels in the body as it acts as a fecal bulking agent. It increases the transmit time and raises fecal bile acid levels.
Another benefit of gellan gum is that it is highly recommendable to vegetarians. A vegetable product such as kefir needs stabilizers like Gellan Gum. This helps to prevent separating of product components.
Gellan gum helps in the reduction of food wastage. Since the fiber is a good food additive, it makes food more enjoyable and tastier. When food is tastier, it increases the consumer's appetite hence thwarts unnecessary wastage of food. Additionally, the fiber is also used to create a gel, to stabilize and to suspend ingredients or nutrients.
The fiber is highly helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. According to a study conducted, Gellan gum was found to have reduced the level of cholesterol by 10 percent. The fiber, together with pectin when ingested with a smaller amount of insoluble fiber, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) but does not affect the high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Gellan gum treats constant diarrhea in human beings. The fiber is highly beneficial, especially to patients in decreasing the number of diarrhea episodes as well as the amount of liquid fecal matter. It also has a similar therapeutic effect on children but has an almost negligible effect on adults.
The fiber is known to lower high blood pressure. When Gellan gumis regularly ingested with meals, it slowly lowers blood pressure to patients suffering from hypertension.
Gellan gum helps in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Oral ingestion of the fiber lowers stomach pains to some consumers. Additionally, itimproves bowel functioning, hence offsetting irritable bowel syndrome.
Side effects of Gellan Gum
Gellan gum is said to jeopardize medical surgeries.The fiber affects the levels of blood glucose in the body during and after surgery. For this reason, ingestion is discouraged 14 days to the operation.
Undue consumption of Gellan gum is associated with abdominal bloating and excess flatulence. It also results in loose stools.
The fiber triggers an undesirable laxative effect when ingested in large quantities owing to the fermentation of intestinal flora. To avoid this, Gellan Gum should only be consumed in strict adherence to the recommended dosage.
Gellan Gum Dosage
To treat constipation, one needs to ingest 12 grams of Gellan Gum daily.Usually, it is recommended that one should begin with a small dose of 4 grams daily and gradually increase to at most 12 grams a day.
To effectively lower high cholesterol, a consumer should only ingest 15 grams of the fiber daily coupled with pectin and additional insoluble fiber not morethan 5 grams in quantity.
To treat perennial irritable bowel syndrome as called IBM, a consumer needs to consume only 5 grams of hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG).PHGG refers to Guar gum which is chemically treated, making it more likely to dissolve in liquids and hinders it from being further broken down by acid or temperature increment.
To cure diabetes, only consume at most 15 grams of Gellan Gum per day.
Important to note is that Gellan Gum is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women for medical reasons.
Gellan Gum’s Substitutes
Gellan gum can be efficiently substituted by substances such as:
1. Guar Gum
2. Xanthan Gum
3. Locust Bean Gum
Gellan Gum’s Synonyms
The special fiber has numerous synonyms such as: