The Best Xanthan Gum Substitute for a Healthy Lifestyle

By Jenna Shaw

Are you suffering allergies from corn, wheat or soy? If so then you will want to read this article as we cover some of the possible side effects that can occur from consuming xanthan gum. We will also recommend a xanthan gum substitute for you to enable you to enjoy your healthy lifestyle. After reading this article you should be able to purchase a xanthan gum substitute below.

Searching for an affordable xanthan gum substitute can be difficult – so what exactly is the gum? Xanthan gum is a product derived from the fermentation of corn, wheat or soy. It is used as a thickening stabilizer agent in a wide variety of products from food to personal care products. You will find xanthan gum used in many types of food from salad dressings, frozen foods, beverages, egg substitutes, ice cream and flour based food products. Xanthan gum is also widely used in the cosmetic industry where the gum additive is used to thicken face creams and act as a binding agent to ensure product consistency.

Xanthan Gum is used in many gluten free flour depended goods including bread and pasta’s. An individual with an allergic reaction to corn , wheat or soy may have to find a replacement for xanthan gum as the gum may contain traces. Xanthan gum is not harmful to apply in food when consuming the recommended daily intake. If you are experiencing identified allergies or you could have possibly eaten a great amount of xanthan gum, then you just might be subjected to the probable unwanted side effects which may take place. Typical side effects that can occur from xanthan gum include migraine headaches, skin itchiness, nose and throat irritation. You can read more about the possible side effects on our post.

The Best Xanthan Gum Substitute

There are many gum substitutes available to try in your next baking adventure. We have found that different substitutes seem to work well in different situations. When we experimented making ice cream and bread with Guar Gum, the Guar Gum prevented ice crystals from forming on the ice cream and gave the ice cream a nice smooth taste. When making bread we actually found that the Guar Gum tended to produce a more grainier texture with a similar taste to gluten bread. The best xanthan gum substitute to use will depend on the application you need it for, whether you are baking a yummy cake, a thick sauce or some tasty ice cream. If you are looking for a xanthan gum substitute then try one of these great substitutes:

Guar Gum

Guar Gum is an alternative thickener that is a water soluble fiber made from Guar Beans and is produced as an off-white coloured grounded powder. Guar Gum is more soluble and is a better stabiliser than Locust Bean Gum. It has 8x the thickening effectiveness of cornstarch. You can find out more information about Guar Gum here.


Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are rich in protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The grounded chia seeds are used in porridges, puddings, breads and cakes. Chia seeds are very beneficial for your digestive track and help to hydrate your body.



Flaxseed is high in fiber, essential fats and lignans. Grounded flaxseed can easily be added to breads, muffins and cereals to enhance the crunchy nutty taste.


Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder can be used as a thickening substitute to replace Xanthan Gum when making soups and sauces that need to be cooked at a lower temperature. When baking and needing a substitute, try arrowroot powder.



Cornstarch is a good  xanthan gum substitute and is used as a thickening agent in sauces, soups and gravies. Both Cornstarch and Arrowroot can be used in a 1:1 ration when replacing Xanthan Gum.


Agar Agar 

Agar-Agar is derived from red algae and can be used as a thickener for soups, ice cream, vegetable gelatin. It is also used as a laxative and as an appetite suppressant. It can be used in a number of dairy free and vegan recipes.



Gelatin is derived from Collagen and is used as a gelling agent in cooking, gelatin desserts, ice cream, jams, cream cheese, margarine and yogurt.


Locust Bean Gum

Locust Bean Gum is a vegetable gum extracted from the seeds of a Carob Tree and is also know as Carob Gum. It is used as a thickening agent like Xanthan Gum. Using Locust Bean powder has a similar taste to cocoa powder and contains less calories. You can find out more information about Locust Bean Gum here.

Gum Arabic 

Like Gelatin, Gum Arabic can be used as a binder/stabiliser and is used in candy, soft drink syrups and edible glitter. You can find out more information about Gum Arabic here.


Check out this great video from our friends at the iamgf test kitchen for a comparison between Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum. Watch closely as they show how each of the gums react when mixed in water.

Xanthan Gum Substitute Summary

Xanthan gum is safe to use unless you have a known allergy. For people who experience an allergic sensitivity to corn, soy or wheat you will likely want to purchase a replacement for xanthan gum from the list above. Allergic reactions can produce severe symptoms, if you do notice swelling or a rash developing please talk to your doctor or health professional.

From our experience we recommend purchasing Guar Gum or Locust Bean Gum as it makes a good xanthan gum substitute and is also less expensive than xanthan gum. Why not purchase a xanthan gum substitute today – your body will thank you for it!

xanthan gum substitute

More Info

41 thoughts on “The Best Xanthan Gum Substitute for a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. jrdan pas cher

    I love the way you wrote this article. This is wonderful. I do hope you intend to write more of these types of articles. Thank you for this interesting content!

    1. Angelica

      Hi Tiffany,I am sorry to hear about your daughter’s corn alegrly. I have a new little one as well, and so far he has been free of my food sensitivities. (Fingers crossed). I removed Vinegar (White Vinegar) from the list, as yes, it is corn-derived. I did add Rice Vinegar, which as always, check with the manufacturer, is supposed to be derived from Rice. Take care and best to you and your family.

  2. Alison

    Thanks so much for the information. Im new to the gluten-free diet and it took me ages to find out some decent information. Will be purchasing some guar gum and gum arabic to try out.

  3. Beth

    Thanks for this great post! I am allergic to corn and have been reading a lot about not using xanthan gum in gluten-free baking and I think I’ll probably make the transition away and buy some guar gum. When I bake, I also add flax seeds to almost everything. It is another great way to get the fiber I need. Thanks again for this post!

  4. Sandy

    My husband has an allergy to corn and is crying because I made some muffins with a new recipe that contained Xanthan Gum and he cant eat them. Will try some of Bob Red’s products next time and most likely purchase some locust bean gum as I like the sound of it tasting similar to cocoa! Thanks for providing a great resource.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Sandy, I have tried Bob Red’s Mill products and they are great. I have also used Locust Bean Gum in desserts and the taste is nice and sweet. Let us know how you get on with the gum.

  5. Sophia

    I just purchased some guar gum! :) Cant wait to try it out in my gluten free lemon cupcake recipe. Thanks for the info on your site.

  6. Cindy

    Thanks for the useful information, Im wondering if you know how much arrowroot powder to substitute for cornstarch?

  7. Kathy

    Thank’s for the great info in this post. I am literally in the middle of making a gluten-free bread for my daughter and wondered if something could replace xanthan gum. I am going to try guar gum out. Thanks again!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Yvonne, I’m glad that you found this article informative. I have used agar powder in ice cream before and found that 2 tsp of agar powder makes about 1 Litre of ice cream. Let us know how you get on with your delicious ice cream recipe!

  8. susan dagnall

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most individuals will go along with with your website.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Barbara, it depends on the application. Here are some helpful measurements for popular foods that I have sourced from Bob Reds Site. I hope that it helps you:

      How much Xanthan Gum for Gluten Free Baking?

      Cookies………………………………¼ teaspoon per cup of flour
      Cakes and Pancakes………………..½ teaspoon per cup of flour
      Muffins and Quick Breads………… ¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
      Breads……………………………….1 to 1-½ tsp. per cup of flour
      Pizza Dough…………………..…… 2 teaspoons per cup of flour
      For Salad Dressings…Use ½ tsp. Xanthan Gum per 8 oz. of liquid.

      How much Guar Gum for Gluten Free Baking?

      Cookies………………………………¼ to ½ tsp. per cup of flour
      Cakes and Pancakes………………..¾ teaspoon per cup of flour
      Muffins and Quick Breads………….1 teaspoon per cup of flour
      Breads……………………………….1-½ to 2 tsp. per cup of flour
      Pizza Dough…………………..…….1 Tablespoon per cup of flour
      For Hot Foods (gravies, stews , heated pudding)…Use 1-3 teaspoons per one quart of liquid.
      For Cold Foods (salad dressing, ice creams, pudding) Use about 1-2 teaspoons per quart of liquid.

  9. Sheila Yaekel

    Hey there, thanks for revealing your thinking in Xanthan Gum Substitute. This is actually an awesome blog.

  10. Gordon

    What proportions are used when using chia as a substitute for Xantahn gum?
    Chia seed is such a great health food and I’d like to use it in place of Xanthan or Guar gums.
    I’ve been milling my own flour from Quinoa, Garbanzo beans, corn and other seeds. The local bulk Barn here has most of what I need to be gluten free.
    Thanks for a great site.

  11. Kelley Plunkett

    It’s onerous to find educated individuals on this topic, however you sound like you know what you’re speaking about! Thanks

  12. Sharona

    This is such a GREAT resource… I’m allergic to corn and while I can tolerate it most of the time, I don’t like the idea that I could have a reaction to xanthan gum. I also found that my baking doesn’t have a good consistency when I try to bake with xanthan gum. A lot of this is probably because I’m a newbie when it comes to baking. It’s interesting that I might be able to actually use some of those substitutes on my next gluten free baking adventure. Thanks for the info :)

  13. Leonila Dossous

    Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.

  14. stuart

    i’ve just discovered i need to eat gluten free .i want to do my own bread baking.
    can i add oats (I can eat these ) roughly ground up to the mix instead of guar gum etc..?
    i don’t own a microwave, bread-making machine or oven.
    what would be best to get for baking gluten free bread? bread machines seem rather expensive.
    all comments welcomed and thanks in advance.

  15. stuart

    some further thoughts on gluten free bread baking.
    can agar agar or gelatin be used in bread baking?
    does adding an egg to the mix have the same effect as guar gum?
    does adding nuts (finely or roughly ground? ) to the mix help with texture and taste? (i have a friend who has been eating brown rice flour bread and he says it doesn’t taste too good.)
    once baked, how long does the bread stay fresh?
    can it be kept in a fridge freezer?

    1. Jenna Shaw Post author

      Hi Laura, You can use substitute egg whites for xanthan gum in cakes and bread, however when I tried baking a cake with egg whites as a substitute the bread was very airy and tended to rise higher in the pan.

    1. Jenna Shaw Post author

      Hi Kim!

      You can use arrowroot powder 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour. Alternatively I would use guar gum but it depends on your application. All the best with your baking!

  16. Heidi

    What is the exchange for substituting ground flax seeds and how do you do it? I have read on other blogs that you have to make a slurry by mixing the flax seed with boiling water. I was not clear from that blog exactly how to do it and was wondering if anyone knows the amounts etc?
    Thanks in advance!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>