Rating: Certain people should avoid
Arabic, Furcelleran, Gellan, Ghatti, Guar, Karaya, Locust Bean, Tragacanth, Xanthan.
Thickening agents, stabilizers: Beverages, ice cream, frozen pudding, salad dressing, dough, cottage cheese, candy, drink mixes.
Gums are derived from natural sources (bushes, trees, seaweed, bacteria) and are poorly tested, though probably safe. They are not absorbed by the body. They are used to thicken foods, prevent sugar crystals from forming in candy, stabilize beer foam (arabic), form a gel in pudding (furcelleran), encapsulate flavor oils in powdered drink mixes, or keep oil and water mixed together in salad dressings. Gums are often used to replace fat in low-fat ice cream, baked goods, and salad dressings. Tragacanth has caused occasional severe allergic reactions. The FDA warns against giving a product called SimplyThick, which contains xanthan gum, to infants, since it may cause a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis. It is not clear whether the gum itself, bacterial contamination of the gum, or some other cause is to blame.