Xanthan gum is a microbial polysaccharide used as a thickener in several industries such as food and beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical. It is also known by other names such as bacterial polysaccharide, and corn sugar gum. Xanthan gum is manufactured by fermenting corn sugar with a bacterium named Xanthomonas Campestris. After the consumption of food containing xanthan gum, it swells in the intestine and stimulates the digestive tract. Xanthan gum also slows the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract and functions like saliva to lubricate the mouth of people who have Sjogren’s syndrome. Xanthan gums are also used in drilling activities in the oil and gas sector. Food and beverage is the key end-use industry for xanthan gum and the bakery and confectionary industry accounts for the largest demand.
The growth of end user industries is the key driver for the global xanthan gums market. Rising disposable income is propelling the demand for food and cosmetics, which is consequently boosting the demand for xanthan gums. The consumption of convenience foods that contain xanthan gums has also increased significantly in the recent past. The increasing population and a growing economically-active population in Asia Pacific is further increasing demand for on-the-go foods. Increasing government investment in healthcare is also boosting pharmaceutical sales across the globe, which is driving the xanthan gums market.
A mounting demand for gluten-free foods is also driving the xanthan gum market. Xanthan gum is used in the gluten-free baking process for several products such as cookies, cakes and pancakes, muffins and quick breads, breads, pizza dough, and salad dressings. Among these, xanthan gum is used in large quantities in the preparation of pizza dough. The nutritional characteristic of xanthan gum further increases its acceptability, as it contains carbohydrates and fiber. One of the greatest restraints for the xanthan gum market is the availability of guar gum as a substitute. However, guar gum is mostly used in ice cream and pastry fillings, whereas xanthan gum finds its largest use in the manufacturing of bakery products. Another restraint for the xanthan gum market is that it is not suitable for people with certain allergies.
Asia Pacific dominated the global xanthan gum market in 2014 owing to increasing demand for bakery and confectionary products from countries such as China, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Europe also has a large share in the xanthan gum market thanks to its large bakery and confectionary industries. Key players in the global xanthan gum market include Danisco, Cargill, Pfizer Inc, Jungbunzlauer, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), CP Kelco, and Fufeng Group Company Ltd.
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