I just recently got into using agar agar to prepare solidified gels, and I'm wondering what effect adding xanthan gum to the mixture before gelling it would have. I'm particularly interested in trying to use the xanthan gum to replace fats in recipes like egg yolks.

Does anyone happen to know what difference one would note between a gel set with only agar(roughly 1 tsp powder per cup liquid) and a gel set with agar(same ratio) and the addition of xanthan gum before it gels (and how varying the amount of xanthan gum would provide different results)? If so I would greatly appreciate the information.

And if anyone happens to know the same information but for adding glucomannan instead of xanthan gum to an agar gel that would be helpful.

  • I don't know the answer, but I'll speculate. Agar is a water binder. Adding xanthan before the Agar gels, leads to the Q: can agar bind xanthan treated liquid? I suspect the xanthan will interfere with the agar jelling process. – Paulb Jul 5 '16 at 12:09
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    @Paulb As far as xanthan gum goes, I tried it out myself with .5 cup water, .5 T agar flakes and 1/8 tsp xanthan and it did gel. I also made a control with the same water/agar ratio but no xanthan to compare it to. The one w/ xanthan was more elastic and "squishy" than the one with just agar. I still don't know for sure how glucomannan would affect it, but I suspect it would make the gel chewier and denser. – user2649681 Jul 5 '16 at 12:38
  • @user2649681 : it'd also be interesting to know what the effects are over time -- ie, does it fix agar's weeping issue? – Joe Jul 6 '16 at 0:02

In lower concentrations of Agar Agar you'll have weeping (Syneresis); Xanthan gum is generally used to lower syneresis when combined with other hydrocolloids. Apart from slight texture changes; you'll benefit from less weeping.

per this paper Evaluation of Blends of Alternative Gelling Agents with Agar and Development of Xanthagar, A Gelling Mix, Suitable for Plant Tissue Culture Media; Agar Agar + Xanthan gum (i.e. Xanthagar) is considered as an economically viable alternative for using Agar Agar directly. As XG cheaper compared to Agar.

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