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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

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