Xanthan Gum is a long chain polysacharide composed of the sugars glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid. It is used as a thickener in sauces, as an agent in ice cream that prevents ice crystals from forming, and as a fat substitute that adds the "mouth feel" of fat without the calories. It can also be used when making hot or cold gels, foams, and edible films.
First discovered by USDA scientists in the 1950s, xanthan gum is fermented by plant-loving bacteria that are characterized by sticky cell walls. Almost every thickening task can be handled by xanthan, making it one of the most popular Modernist thickeners. It is easy to use, has no taste, and generally works quite well.
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