Xanthan gum is widely used in the food industry and can be found in most prepared foods in the grocery store. It is mainly used as a thickener and a stabilizer in salad dressings, soups, sauces, and even baked goods where it mimics some functions of gluten.
It was discovered by the USDA in the 1950’s and is a fermentation by-product of the Xanthomonus campestris bacteria. Given its small impact on flavor (unlike other thickeners such as cornstarch) and ability to function at different temperatures and pH ranges it is one of the most used thickeners in modernist cuisine.
To use dispense into a cold liquid at a scaling of 0.5% – 0.8% and allow to hydrate for one minute. Mix thoroughly with an immersion blender.