A Guide to Gums  

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The Struggle:

Gums are probably one of the most widely used ingredients in all of modern cooking. Gums help with just about any recipe. Need help with vinaigrettes, doughs, ice cream or even soda? Well you could probably use a gum. But here is the real struggle, there are many different gum types. To the everyday person words like xanthan and konjac might as well be in a different language. So how are you supposed to know what gum to use in what recipe? So I’ve put together a little chart to help you understand what each gum does and how you can use them to your advantage.


“What gum should I use?” 


Something to Chew On. 


People often ask us what gum they should use. While there are certain recommendations we make, the reality is that your recipe will be the decider. And gum can be added to any recipe but the results will drastically vary depending on the type you choose. While something like guar and acacia are both gums, the properties of each gum are very different. The usage ratios, viscosity, and mouthfeel are completely different. No gum is created equal, they are all their own unique ingredient. Another benefit of using gums is they are very synergistic, This means they like to play nice. Many gums when used together will create something greater than the sum of its parts. For instance xanthan and guar gum are both thickeners but when combined they create a gel. The same goes for locust bean gum, while commonly a thickener it can create a gel when mixed with other ingredients and heated. The synergies go further than just other gums, gums are commonly used with gelling agents to improve viscosity of gel strength. Look at your recipe and see what outcome you are looking to achieve, then use our chart to choose 1, 2, or even 3 gums that could give you the best result. 


. Usage Ratio Solubility PH Mouthfeel Synergy
Arabic/Acacia Gum 5-30% Cold 3-9 Sticky, smooth No
Guar Gum 0.1-1.5% Cold 4-10 Slick Yes, Locust Bean Gum, Xanthan Gum
Perfected Guar Gum 0.1-1.5% Cold, More Rapidly Than Traditional 4-10 Slick Yes, Locust Bean Gum, Xanthan Gum
Locust Bean Gum 0.15-0.75% 165°F 4-10 Sticky Yes, Elastic with Xanthan Gum
Konjac Gum 0.5-0.7% Cold ~3-10 Creamy Yes, Elastic with Xanthan Gum
Tara Gum 0.1-1% 180F 4-10 Sticky No
Xanthan Gum 0.05-0.35% Cold 1-13 Sticky, Slick Yes, Elastic with Konjac, Guar, and Locust Bean Gum
Perfect Xanthan Gum 0.05-0.35% Cold, More Rapidly Than Traditional 1-13 Sticky, Slick Yes, Elastic with Konjac, Guar, and Locust Bean Gum


. Higher Viscosity When Used With…
Arabic/Acacia Gum N/A
Guar Gum Locust Bean Gum, Sodium Alginate, PGA, Xanthan Gum, CMC, Methylcellulose, HPMC
Perfected Guar Gum Locust Bean Gum, Sodium Alginate, PGA, Xanthan Gum, CMC, Methylcellulose, HPMC
Locust Bean Gum Guar Gum, Sodium Alginate, PGA, CMC, Methylcellulose, HPMC
Konjac Gum CMC, Locust Bean Gum
Tara Gum N/A
Xanthan Gum Guar Gum, Kappa Carrageenan, CMC, Methylcellulose, Microcrystalline Cellulose, HPMC
Perfect Xanthan Gum Guar Gum, Kappa Carrageenan, CMC, Methylcellulose, Microcrystalline Cellulose, HPMC


. Stronger Gel  Additional Usage
Arabic/Acacia Gum Low – and High-Acyl Gellans viscosity decreases with pH ; optimal at pH 4
Guar Gum Agar tolerates salts; high stability and particle suspension; moderate solubility alcohol tolerance
Perfected Guar Gum Agar tolerates salts; high stability and particle suspension; moderate solubility alcohol tolerance
Locust Bean Gum Agar, Kappa Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum rarely used alone; tolerates salt; inhibits ice crystals; moderate alcohol tolerance
Konjac Gum Agar, Kappa Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum gels at ph > 9; moderately alcohol-tolerant; viscosity increases

best hydrated 158 “F when heated or at concentration of 1% or higher; doesn’t melt

once gelled under alkaline conditions

Tara Gum N/A Locust bean replacer, If you don’t want the synergistic effects of LBG. Use with Dairy
Xanthan Gum Locust Bean Gum, Konjac Gum tolerates salts; shearing decreases viscosity; tolerates 50%-60% alcohol; requires another hydrocolloid to gel
Perfect Xanthan Gum Locust Bean Gum, Konjac Gum tolerates salts; shearing decreases viscosity; tolerates 50%-60% alcohol; requires another hydrocolloid to gel



  • Can I use versawhip in my soufflé pancake or fuwa fuwa pancake recipe ?

  • Landon Kinney
    May 23, 2020 1:49 pm

    I need help with a binder for a nutrition bar. I have xanthan gum, guar gum and I jus purchased ultra Tex 3. Upon completion the bar falls apart . I need some help please!

    • The xanthan, guar and ultra-tex 3 are not really designed for this purpose. This requires a specialized starch that we currently do not carry in our catalog, but we may look into sourcing it and featuring it in a future WTF.

  • I’m a hobbyist who loves to cook & bake. I’m trying to find a gummies or jellies recipe that tastes like professional candies. (Basic gelatin recipes on the internet don’t come close). I’m seeking that same “chew”. I’ve tasted some amazing candies in Belgium & I believe it’s because they use Gum Arabic.
    Recently purchased some of your Gum Arabic.

    How do I substitute gum Arabic for gelatin or pectin in a fruit gummy recipe? And Do you have any gum Arabic recipes?

    Thank you! Love your interesting site!

  • Hi I bought your Kitchen Alchemy Locust bean Gum to use in home made ice cream. I am not good with math and decimals percentages. Can you tell me how to translate your recommendations of percents of this product into my batch. for instance i am making a batch size total weight liquid and solids about 1,000 grams. thanks in advance, john

    • Typical usage for LBG is 0.15%-0.75% by weight. So that’s 1.5-7.5g per 1000 grams.

  • Is there a substance that will help keep tiny particles suspended in warm/hot liquids, e. g. lucuma powder in coffee?

  • Why does your Perfect Gelato powder require heating to 180 when this page says that locust bean gum is soluble at 165? I would like to use LBG for my gelato and heat to the lower temperature if possible.

    • Perfect Gelato is a blend of various gums, one of which is carrageenan that has a hydration temp at 180.

      • Karen Dohrn
        April 3, 2021 9:04 am

        Molecular structure breaks or binds when heated or cooled??

      • Karen Dohrn
        April 3, 2021 9:11 am

        Love the name.” WTF” a girl after my sailor mouth heart✌?Prefer to converse with you through email!!!! The ? is always on! I’m one of those people ?

        Peace & Love
        Pass The Seed

  • Can Xanthan gum be used in sponge cakes …like the Japanese Cheesecake?

  • Merybeth Carrasquel
    February 7, 2021 8:21 pm

    When dissolving locust bean gum powder into water, I can’t avoid the formation of patches of gel instead of a homogeneous mixture. I tried different mixing conditions, with unsuccessful results so far.

    • Not sure what you’re using it with, but if there is sugar try dry mixing it in. Otherwise we recommend sprinkling slowly into a blender. Using a spoon and dumping in any hydrocolloid as a clump and then attempting to dissolve it is likely to lead to clumps.

  • Anthony Shershenovich
    March 26, 2021 9:39 am

    What is a suitable replacement for cornstarch or wheat flour as a thickener in cheesecake?

    • Could try Tapioca Starch.

      • If you want to switch to gum try a mixture of xanthan and locust bean gum. but this would need to be in extremely low quantities. Between 0.1-0.3% of each.

  • Simon Hutchinson
    April 8, 2021 2:34 pm

    What’s best to use as a thickener for almond milk? We are using sunflower lectin to make sure the solution holds together but unsure what the differences are between Gellan Gum and Guar Gum

  • I’m creating a gluten and starch free all purpose baking flour. I’d like to use xanthan and tara gums. Can you advise me on how much of each per cup of flour?

    • If you are making your own blends it will take experimentation to get your ratios correct. Xanthan ratios are 0.05% – 0.35%. Tara Gum usage is typically 0.1% – 1.0%. We do recommend starting at the lower end on both since they are quite powerful.

  • Hi. I am trying to make a vegan marshmallow and the recipes on the internet call for agar. I keep failing. I get a mushy texture. Can agar work? I saw there is a vegan gelatin that you sell but its not available here in South Africa. What can i use. We get xanthum gum , guar gum and agar

  • I want to make something similar to the very popular tapioca boba pearls but I want them to retain their gummy texture when very cold. Traditional boba pearls will get very hard if they sit in a frozen drink for too long. What combination of gels or gums could I use to create a “cold-stable” boba-like pearl which remain chewy, jelly-like or gummy texture to add to drinks? Love your products and your channel!

    • Cole Whitney
      June 21, 2021 10:29 am

      There could be a way to achieve your desired texture when cold, but we have not done the testing for this yet.

      • I love making homemade boba tea and I’m looking for a low carb thickener similar to tapioca starch to experiment with for a boba pearl recipe. Would agar and locust bean gum be good starting points, or is there a better thickener or combination of thickeners that would be best?

        • We don’t know of any non-starch based thickener that can do what tapioca starch does for boba pearls. We have not done any testing to achieve a low carb boba analog recipe at this time.

  • What is the best emulsifier/thickener for beverages with oily flavour enhancers such as lemon oil or orange oil?

    • Cole Whitney
      June 25, 2021 4:28 pm

      If you are okay with the drink being slightly opaque, then 210S would be the best emulsifier

  • Hi, what do you recommend for replicating the sticky and velvety mouthfeel of gelatin in a vegetarian/vegan soup (which will be served near boiling)? I’ve used xanthan gum in the past, which was great for the thickness, but it doesn’t have the same sensation that gelatin does. I tried agar agar but I noticed the soup start to set as it got slightly colder which was not ideal. I was reading a patent application describing a mixture of xanthan and guar gum which results in a gelling agent with a low melting point, which may contribute to that mouthfeel? What can you recommend?

    • We’re not aware of any plant-based gelling agents or thickeners that can reproduce the unique mouthfeel of gelatin when melted. It is a property of the collagen within gelatin that plants don’t have.

  • Michael Ian B Bolalin
    September 23, 2021 3:48 am

    Hi! I would like to know if there is really an aftertaste when using Xanthan gum?

    • Using too much xanthan can result in an unpleasant slimy texture. Also start very small with xanthan.

  • I would like to make a low sugar marshmallow, not sugar-free, just less sugar. I’d still like to use gelatin and possibly egg whites if needed. What would be a good gum to help stabilize the marshmallow without as much sugar in it? Thank you!

  • I’m looking to add acacia gum to a gluten-free cookie recipe. Do you recommend adding it in with the dry ingredients or pre-hydrating it in the wet ingredients first?

  • If a recipe calls for 1tsp of xanthan gum, how much tara gum would you recommend? I am trying to make a frappe that calls for 1/8th tsp of xanthan, I have no clue what this would equate to in tara gum. Thanks!

    • You can interchange Tara Gum for Xanthan Gum in a 1 for 1 ratio, but these two gums have different thickening properties. You would have to test this and see how you like the texture of your frappe with 1 to 1, and if necessary you can adjust the tara gum accordingly.

  • I want to use locust bean gum with xanthan and Gellan gum to make alcoholic jelly. How do I know what proportions of each gum to use?

    • I would suggest starting with the gellan gum and find a texture that you like. Then in another batch begin to add the xanthan and locust bean gums until you find the perfect texture. A recipe like this will take texting unless you have a great base recipe from the start. After some testing we believe you will have a great alcoholic jelly that is close to what you are looking for

  • What can I use as a replacement for Tara gum in an ice cream recipe?

  • Hello. I saw Modernist Pantry’s video on YouTube on how make bubble gum and chewing gum. Is the Gum Base product still offered? Or is it one of these gums that I need to use?

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