One product that is often a cause for worry for vegans and vegetarians is gelatin. Because gelatin is made from animal stock and byproducts, they can’t consume things like jellies, gummy candies, and cheesecake to name a few. Fortunately, vegetarian alternatives to gelatin are now widely available in the market, andone of these products is Gellan Gum.
What Is Gellan Gum?
Gellan gum is a highly engineered ingredientthat iscreated using a bacteria called Pseudomonas elodea. The product was first discovered in 1978 but was not approved for food use until 1992.
Today, the product is used in a variety of kitchen settings and is known primarily as a substitute for agar-agar. The main benefits of Gellan gum over agar-agar is that it can withstand higher temperatures and produces the same viscosity at half the amount of agar-agar.
Types of Gellan Gum
Primarily, Gellan gum is available in two varieties. Low-Acyl Gellan Gum (Gellan Gum F), and High-Acyl Gellan Gum (Gellan Gum LT100). While gels made from Gellan Gum F can be brittle and firm, Gellan Gum LT100 products are flexible and elastic. While the two also differ slightly in other characteristics, their gelling consistencies is what sets them apart. Most chefs use both of the variations together to reach unique textures.
Both these GellanGums are used for gelling, stabilization, and thickening, like other hydrocolloids. The beauty of Gellan Gum is that it can not only be used in hot kitchensbut can also be heated and served hot on the plate.
Properties of Gellan Gum
The hydration, gelling, and melting temperatures of the two varieties of Gellan Gum depends on the concentration used. For an average reference, Gellan Gum F will form a gel between 10-50°c, LT100 will gel between temperatures of 70-80°c.
Similarly, while low-acyl Gellan gum is not frozenor thaw stable, high-acyl gum can be frozen and thawed without breaking and will remain stable after defrosting.
Both types of Gellan gum have a clean mouthfeel, butGellanF isknownfor giving a creamier feeling.