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?”
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.
|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|
|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…|
|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|
|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|
April 17, 2020 11:24 pm
Can I use versawhip in my soufflé pancake or fuwa fuwa pancake recipe ?
April 19, 2020 11:50 am
It could work if you make the versawhip into a meringue.
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!
May 26, 2020 10:14 am
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.
September 10, 2020 5:29 pm
Yes. Please binders for bars, would be useful to know about. I keep trying to perfect keto snack bars for my kids which have lots of nuts and dried fruit but no added sugar.
September 12, 2020 10:42 am
Stay tuned! We have a new product for this coming out
November 5, 2021 12:13 pm
Hi, can I ask what the product is for binding granola bars and if it’s come out yet? I’d love to purchase
November 5, 2021 12:28 pm
Yes you can get Ultra-Stik now!
June 11, 2020 5:36 pm
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!
June 15, 2020 7:44 am
We don’t have any gum arabic gummy recipes yet
June 12, 2020 7:24 am
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
June 15, 2020 9:57 am
Typical usage for LBG is 0.15%-0.75% by weight. So that’s 1.5-7.5g per 1000 grams.
October 16, 2020 3:25 pm
Is there a substance that will help keep tiny particles suspended in warm/hot liquids, e. g. lucuma powder in coffee?
October 20, 2020 9:37 am
Try Gellan Gum F
December 15, 2020 11:37 am
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.
December 15, 2020 1:46 pm
Perfect Gelato is a blend of various gums, one of which is carrageenan that has a hydration temp at 180.
April 3, 2021 9:04 am
Molecular structure breaks or binds when heated or cooled??
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
January 12, 2021 2:52 pm
Can Xanthan gum be used in sponge cakes …like the Japanese Cheesecake?
January 15, 2021 10:26 am
What are you hoping the xanthan will do?
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.
February 8, 2021 8:58 am
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.
March 26, 2021 9:39 am
What is a suitable replacement for cornstarch or wheat flour as a thickener in cheesecake?
March 29, 2021 10:10 am
Could try Tapioca Starch.
March 29, 2021 10:17 am
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.
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
April 8, 2021 2:39 pm
Check out our soy milk recipe, it can also be used with almond milk.
May 27, 2021 1:05 pm
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?
May 28, 2021 10:02 am
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.
June 1, 2021 10:50 am
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
June 1, 2021 11:43 am
We have a great recipe for vegan marshmallows on our blog using Vegan Gelatin, here’s the link:
You can replace the Vegan Gelatin in this recipe with Agar but it may require additional testing to get the desired texture.
June 20, 2021 11:54 pm
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!
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.
December 25, 2021 12:04 am
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?
January 3, 2022 10:13 am
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.
June 25, 2021 12:45 am
What is the best emulsifier/thickener for beverages with oily flavour enhancers such as lemon oil or orange oil?
June 25, 2021 4:28 pm
If you are okay with the drink being slightly opaque, then 210S would be the best emulsifier
August 18, 2021 5:39 pm
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?
August 19, 2021 7:09 am
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.
September 23, 2021 3:48 am
Hi! I would like to know if there is really an aftertaste when using Xanthan gum?
September 23, 2021 7:00 am
Using too much xanthan can result in an unpleasant slimy texture. Also start very small with xanthan.
October 13, 2021 10:14 am
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!
October 18, 2021 2:31 pm
We have a great recipe for marshmallows that is a good base to go from. We suggest substituting most of the sugar in the recipe with isomalt or another sugar substitute of your choice. The method will stay the same.
November 30, 2021 12:56 am
Hi, what’s some ways I could make my own toothpaste without having to use heaps of artificial flavours amd sweeteners?
November 30, 2021 2:13 pm
Sorry but we have no idea how to make toothpaste.
October 27, 2021 2:33 pm
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?
October 27, 2021 2:52 pm
We recommend dry blending with your dry ingredients first.
November 3, 2021 2:50 pm
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!
November 5, 2021 4:42 pm
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.
November 30, 2021 9:17 am
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?
December 2, 2021 10:24 am
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
December 5, 2021 4:07 am
What can I use as a replacement for Tara gum in an ice cream recipe?
December 8, 2021 4:43 pm
perfect ice cream is a great all purpose ice cream enhancer! Give it a try as an alternative to tara gum:
January 11, 2023 12:51 pm
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?
January 17, 2023 6:17 pm
Unfortunately we’re all out of gum base and have no ETA for more.