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Gellan Gum

What is gellan gum?

Gellan gum is a viscous soluble fiberartificially produced by non-pathogenic bacteria Sphingomonas elodea from lactose (cheese whey) or glucose (corn starch) [1]. It is an indigestible carbohydrate, a mixture of polysaccharides composed of glucose, rhamnose and glucuronic acid [4].

Gellan Gum a a Food Additive

Gellan gum is used as a thickener in baked goods, dairy products, jams, sauces, confectionery. In European Union, it is labeled as E number E418 [2].

Gellan Gum Supplements

Capsules and tablets are available over-the-counter (OTC).

Possible Health Benefits of Gellan Gum

  • Constipation. Gellan gum may act as a mild laxative and increase the bulk of the stool [3].
  • Cholesterol levels. In one small study, gellan gum lowered total cholesterol levels in adults by about 10% [3].

There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE about the effectiveness of gellan gum in prevention or treatment of high blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes 2 [3].

Gellan Gum Safety, Side Effects

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given gellan gum the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, but it approves its use in foods [4]. Gellan gum has “ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) not specified” status by JECFA [5], meaning toxicity at any amount has not been reported. Excessive intake may cause abdominal bloating, excessive gas (flatulence), loose stools or diarrhea.

Gellan gum produced from whey is not vegan, but the one produced from cornstarch is.

Related Nutrients

  1. Wang X et al, 2006, Modeling for Gellan Gum Production by Sphingomonas paucimobilis ATCC 31461 in a Simplified Medium  PubMed Central
  2. Current EU approved additives and their E Numbers  Food Standards Agency
  3. Anderson DM et al, 1988, The dietary effects of gellan gum in humans  PubMed
  4. Gellan gum, 2014, US Food and Drug Administration
  5. Gellan gum  Inchem

17 Responses to "Gellan Gum"

  1. Catherine says:

    Not vegan? It occurs in a lot of vegan milks and every other source says it’s a vegan alternative to gelatine. Please can you check and amend?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Catherine, gellan gum that is produced from whey protein (from cheese) is not vegan, but is vegetarian, right? Gellan gum produced from cornstarch is vegan. I imagine, in most cases, but maybe not always, gellan gum used in foods is produced from starch, so it is vegan.

      Here’s another source that says: “Gellan gum is reliably produced by Sphingomonas paucimobilis in growth media containing lactose, a significant component of cheese whey, as a carbon source.”

  2. Alex says:

    Gellan gum/Cornstarch from GMO corn? I stopped buying anything with Gellan gum and carrageenan etc. food additives…. food without these additives is real food for health

    • Jan Modric says:

      Alex, gellan gum is not necessary produced from GMO corn. But I agree, may foods without any additives are just fine.

  3. Pam Roylance says:

    Where can I find (to purchase) pure, real dairy heavy cream without ANY artificial additives?

  4. Sam says:

    I just purchased Organic Valley heavy whipping cream, and was so happy to find something I thought was pure. I read the label after I got home. It has Gellan Gum. This is how I found your site, asking what is this gellan gum. I wish I could find a product where I live that is simply cream. And salt perhaps. I am in Central Florida, cannot get to a Wegmans or those others you mentioned. Any ideas, please? Thank you.

  5. Case says:

    Will it absorb alcohol?

  6. Lane says:

    Is Gellan Gum known to harden arteries?

  7. Faith says:

    I boiled some highly filtered milk with that Gellan gum in it and the skim was so thick it tore like paper. I’m still waiting for it to dissolve in the water. It’s been hours!! Whose I could send a picture.

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