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Solving the Problem of Xanthan Gum Dispersion

Published on Mar 21, 2022 8:05:02 PM

Xanthan Gum Dispersion

The successful dispersion of Xanthan gum is one of the more challenging processes faced by food manufacturers and other industries that depend on this widely-used thickening and stabilizing agent.

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is a hydro-colloid gum and is microbial in origin. It is a complex polysaccharide produced from the fermentation of the micro-organism Xanthomonas campestris. As an effective and versatile rheology modifier with pseudo-plastic characteristics, xanthan gum is typically used as a thickener, emulsifier or suspending agent to provide stability, improved textural qualities and/or pouring properties.

It is widely used across a variety of industries, from food manufacturing to pharmaceuticals. Applications include salad dressings, sauces, beverages, dairy products, low-calorie foods, soups, desserts, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, creams, lotions, cleaners, coatings, and adhesives.

Complications with Xanthan Gum Dispersion

There are inherent technical difficulties involved in mixing xanthan powder into a liquid. Upon exposure to liquid, the powder tends to hydrate and expand rapidly, leading to the formation of non-dispersed lumps. As the gel thickens, the likelihood of clumping only increases.

Fish-eyes

These problematic lumps are commonly termed fish-eyes. Fish-eyes are agglomerates of partially hydrated powders. The tough outer layer prevents the complete wetting of particles within the interior. Once formed, they can be difficult to disperse and will float on the surface of the batch.

Other issues

Further complications associated with Xanthan Gum dispersion via conventional methods include:

  • long batch times, leading to delays in production
  • filtering of lumps needed in the final product (often producing powder waste),
  • powder build-up in processing containers
  • gumming of mixing equipment and processing containers

Traditional solutions

Processors have developed methods to assist in the hydration of Xanthan Gum. These include the pre-blending of Xanthan Gum with other powders and the pre-dispersion of Xanthan into oil or glycol using a separate gum hydration tank. However, the additional processes mean manufacturers spend extra time and money on the product.

Please also watch our video about ‘how to mix Xanthan Gum’

 

HubSpot Video

Introducing the Quadro Liquids Solution

The Quadro Liquids equipment, Model ZC - Inline powder Disperser, is capable of dispersing Xanthan Gum into water quickly and completely lump-free in a single pass. The technology ensures problem-free incorporation of the thickening agent into water, effectively solving the challenge of seamless xanthan gum dispersion.

Homogeneous Dispersion with The Quadro Liquids ZC mixer

Five key benefits

The ZC model’s versatility, cleanability (3A approved), simplicity, and low maintenance make it ideal for mixing Xanthan gum and other food and sanitary product-related applications.

1. Quick single pass dispersion into water

The system integrates the single-pass, inline continuous disperser with Uniform Film Interface (UFI) technology to precisely integrate the product into a water vortex. 

2. Higher consistency and better quality than traditional mixers

The dispersal method sidesteps many of the problems associated with direct, in-tank mixing. Waste and clean-up are also minimised.

3. No formation of problematic fish-eyes

The system allows for continuous operation, including dispersion of the solids into the liquid, followed by mixing, with no lumps, conglomerates, fish-eyes, or other undesirable outcomes.

4. No air bubbles in the final product

The method ensures effective powder dispersion without trapping unwanted air bubbles. This gives a final product without air bubbles, eliminating time spent performing deaeration.

5. Repeatable process irrespective of the desired concentration 

Whether your process calls for 0.2%, 5% or alternative concentrations, the technology ensures the process is repeatable, scalable, and efficient.

Highly effective results

The ZC unit has been proven to yield ~30% higher viscosities than traditional methods. Consistent viscosities from batch-to-batch are accomplished with single-pass, uniform, and consistent shear applied by the ZC to all the Xanthan powder. Gum hydration tanks, pre-dispersion fluids, and post-filtering are not required with the use of the ZC. The ZC technology is capable of producing single-pass, lump-free Xanthan gum solutions at flow rates from 15 to 120 USG M (60-450 LPM).

Related Reading:

Find more information about our powder dispersion technology and the Quadro Ytron® ZC series of high-shear, single-pass inline dispersers by downloading the brochure below or fill out our simple quote form to request a quote

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Posted by Matt Baumber
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Topics: Powder Dispersion