Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Xanthan Gum & Maltodextrin

I am new to these forums but have read lots on this site recently.

The A-Z list of GF foods link as posted by Lynxcat has confused me please help !

The list states : Xanthan Gum - SAFE

But there is an article about this on here saying it should be avoided which is confusing as I have just started eating some new GF bread which contains Xanthan so safe or not ?

One other thing I would like help with please is Gravy granules, we use Knorr gravy granules which states GF on the label but contains Maltodextrin which according to the list and some articles on here is not suitable, do you or anyone know of a GF gravy granule without Maltodextrin ?

Thank you

5 Replies

Firstly xanthan gum this is a bacteria grown on many things like wheat corn soy, so some experts feel that coeliac should avoid xanthan gum derived from wheat. All ingredients in gluten free breads and cakes have to be tested to see that they comply with codex regulations and in Australia where they have the strictest rules on gluten free xanthan gum is classed as gluten free.

The other aspect of xanthan gum is it is hygroscopic, so that it absorbs a lot of moisture which's why it is used as a thickener in may foods like mayonaise and it is used to bind non glutenous flours together. So because of this hygroscopic property Xanthan gum can be like a laxative or it can cause constipation in a some people regardless of whether they are coeliac.

Maltodextrin is often a wheat derivative and it can contain traces of gluten but these are considered so low that they are not deemed to be a problem for coeliac according to EU regulations. And Coeliac UK claim that maltodextrin is so processed it is not an issue for coeliac. But some very sensitive coeliac do have a reaction to maltodextrin. Again good Gluten free food manufacturers like Wellfoods use maltodextrin derived from beet. The list that Lynxcat gave said that maltodextrin in the US is safe and that's because it tends to be derived from corn over there.

So to sum up, Xanthan gum and maltodextrin regardless of their source would be well below the codex allowed level of gluten which's 20ppm (which's 20mg per Kilo gram) And if a coeliac does not have issues with codex wheat starch on prescription then they will be all right with these highly refined food additives.

My opinion is that we the consumer should have as much info as possible on what we eat and there for wheat derivatives should be labelled as exactly that. I am also classed as a super sensitive coeliac and have never had an issue with xanthan gum but there are others on GFG who have.

As for gravies ''Marigold'' Swiss vegetable boullon is labelled gluten and yeast free and makes a really nice cup of clear soup I tend to use the low salt one.


Thanks Jerry


Hi Gman, Thanks for pointing our the Xantham gum issue .. If I had realised that this was one of the items on the list I would have red-lighted it as people who cannot tolerate gluten whether they have coeliac disease or whether they are gluten sensitive are known to have health issues with this gum.

Take a look at this website which explains how the gum is made:

Maltodextrin is an issue as by law they can change what it is made from without adding information on the packaging and so here in Europe it is often produced using wheat.

There are two that do not contain maltodextrin and are gluten free - one is Kallo:

The other which have minimal ingrediants are Antony Worrall Thompson ones:


Thank you Lynxcat


Xanthan Gum is a bacteria that may be grown on wheat and a cross over of gluten might occur (FSA), its your sensitivity level that will give you that answer. Maltodextrin can be derived from wheat and contain small amounts of gluten. Check out Commission Directive 2007/68/EC Annex IIIa and the European Food Safety Authority by putting gluten in the search box, it is then down to your sensitivity if they are OK for you.

Bread products are having the derivatives replaced by 'Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose'.


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