What Is It?
Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 are polysaccharides derived from the fermentation of carbohydrates. Xanthan Gum is derived from glucose or corn syrup, while Biosaccharide Gum-1 is derived from sorbitol. Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 are used in a wide variety of cosmetics and personal care products including bath products, makeup, skin and hair care products, and toothpaste.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
In cosmetics and personal care products, Xanthan Gum may function as a binder, emulsion stabilizer, skin-conditioning agent – miscellaneous, surfactant – emulsifying agent, or viscosity increasing agent – aqueous. Biosaccharide Gum-1 is reported to function as a skin conditioning agent – miscellaneous.
Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 are both very large molecules with average molecular weights of 1,000,000 or more. Xanthan Gum dissolves readily in water with stirring, resulting in highly viscous solutions at low concentrations.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Xanthan Gum on its list of food additives permitted for direct addition to food. In foods, it is permitted to be used as a stabilizer, emulsifier, thickener, suspending agent, bodying agent or foam enhancer. It is also allowed to be used in some processed cheese products. FDA also includes Xanthan Gum on its list of indirect food additives for use in polymers that come in contact with food. The safety of Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 has been reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel reviewed the scientific data and concluded that these ingredients were safe as used in cosmetics and personal care products.
More safety Information:
CIR Safety Review:
Based on the large molecular weights, the CIR Expert Panel determined that Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 would not be absorbed through the skin. The CIR Expert Panel reviewed data that indicated that Xanthan Gum was not a reproductive or developmental toxicant. Studies of other polysaccharide gums did not reveal a genotoxic effect. Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 were not considered to be dermal irritants or sensitizers.
Based on the available data on Xanthan Gum and other polysaccharide gums, the CIR Expert Panel concluded that Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 were safe as used in cosmetic products. Xanthan Gum is identified in 21 CFR 172.695 as a food additive that may be safely used following prescribed conditions.
Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations regarding Xanthan Gum
- Gums, Chewing Gum Bases and Related Substances
- Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread
- Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate Copolymers
Xanthan Gum and Biosaccharide Gum-1 may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in the European Union according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.
More Scientific Information:
Xanthan Gum is produced from glucose or corn syrup by fermentation with the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. The primary structure consists of a cellulose backbone with trisaccharide side chains, the repeating unit being a pentasaccharide. In foods, Xanthan Gum is most often found in salad dressings and sauces. It helps to stabilize the oil and solid materials found in these products. It is also used in frozen foods and beverages. Toothpaste often contains Xanthan Gum, where it serves as a binder to keep the product uniform. Biosaccharide Gum-1 is a fermentation gum produced from sorbitol. It is a polysaccharide consisting of fucose, galactose and galacturonic acid residues.
Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration