Gellan gum and locust bean gum are two ingredients in Koia that we don’t want you to overlook. No, they aren’t the kind of gums you chew, but they are used to provide that smooth, creamy, and thick mouthfeel in every bottle of Koia we blend. We use these gums because they are all-natural and opposed to other thickeners, such as carrageenan (which is linked to colon cancer and variety of other diseases), gellan gum and locust bean gum are higher quality and show no serious health risks.
Before you hesitate about the less-familiar sounding “gellan gum” and “locust bean gum” you read our labels, we’ve provided all the information you need on these two essential and delicious additions to our plant based beverages.
What is it?
According to Dr. Axe, gellan gum is an all-natural food additive produced through bacterial fermentation using a sugar source that provides energy for the bacteria string called Sphingomonas elodea to consume. For example, lily pads are home to this specific bacterial strain and produce a small amount of gellan gum. Gellan gum is a long chain of carbohydrate based molecules, making it similar to other food products such as flour or starch that are used to bind ingredients. Gellan gum has a high degree of thermal stability which allows it to keep its structure when temperatures change.
Why is it used in Koia?
Gellan gum is used in many manufactured food products such as beverages, salad dressings, and sauces to prevent ingredients from changing due to temperature. We use gellan gum because it is a great all-natural alternative to gelatin (an animal ingredient commonly used to thicken food products) and adds a creamy texture without changing the color or flavor of Koia.
Gellan gum provides some health benefits including potentially increasing digestion and decreasing constipation. Although the health benefits of gellan gum still need to be heavily researched, one study tested the effects of high levels of gellan gum consumption in participants over the course of 23 days. Although the study was conducted to test gellan gum as a bulking agent in males and females, no significant results were found for bulking. However, the study did show gellan gums’ positive effects on digestion and symptoms such as constipation.
From the research that has been conducted there are no toxins or risks associated with consuming gellan gum. However, if you have bloat or digestion issues, you may want to be weary of consuming gellan gum in large quantities.
locust bean gum
What is it?
Locust bean gum, also known as carob bean gum, comes from the carob seeds of the carob tree. The seed’s endosperm (the nutrient rich tissue surrounding the embryo within plant seeds) gets milled to create carob bean gum powder. Although locust bean gum does not contain a significant amount of nutrients, a few grams contains about 10 percent of dietary fiber needs.
Why is it used in Koia
Locust bean gum is also commonly used in food and beverage products such as sauces, salad dressings, beverages, and yogurt to add thickness and stabilize texture. We use locust bean gum because it is derived from plants, helps with our structure, and makes us taste delicious and creamy (ridding of any grittiness)!
Locust bean gum is another ingredient that still needs a large amount of research, but so far it has shown numerous possible health benefits. One health benefit is the potential reduction of cholesterol. In one research study, participants with familial hypercholesterolemic (a genetic disorder characterized by high cholesterol) and participants without the disorder were given eight to 30 grams of locust bean gum per day to asses the reduction of cholesterol levels in individuals. The results indicate that all subjects, including the ones with familial hypercholesterolemic, showed decreased cholesterol levels.
Another health benefit of locust bean gum is that it might improve blood sugar levels. A study on animals reveals that animals who were given a diet of over 15 percent locust bean gum showed a decrease in insulin and glucose levels. These results could also indicate that locust bean gum may possibly help in the treatment of Type II diabetes.
Similar to gellan gum, there are no serious risks found in consuming locust bean gum. The only potential drawbacks are that it may disrupt the absorption of nutrients such as iron, calcium, and zinc. Also, if you suffer from gut issues, consuming too much of it may delay movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine, causing discomfort.
All in all, gellan gum and locust bean gum are high quality all-natural thickening ingredients. They both show several health benefits and no serious negative health effects are found so far. We hope more studies are available in the future and research continues demonstrating these ingredients positive additions to our plant based protein beverages. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!