DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Xanthan gum, polysaccharide produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. Xanthan gum, also known as guar gum, is produced by the bacterium in a process involving fermentation of glucose or sucrose. The polysaccharide is secreted in to the growth medium by the bacterium and it is then harvested by precipitation with isopropyl alcohol. It is then dried and milled to a powder form that is readily soluble. It is an accepted food additive in many countries. Xanthan gum has the capacity to produce a large increase in the viscosity of a liquid. Unlike other gums, it is very stable under a wide range of temperatures and ph. Also used in frozen foods and beverages, xanthum gum creates the pleasant texture in many ice creams. Toothpaste often contains xanthum gum, where it serves as a binder to keep the product uniform. Magnification: x160 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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