I want to use one to make some things like pancakes or biscuits, salad dressings, or BBQ sauce more amenable to our low carb lifestyle.
Here is a list of such products: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Edible_thickening_agents
I was surprised to learn that xanthan gum is synthetic! Than again, why should I be? Not that that automatically means it is bad....
My mother uses blue cheese dressing on her salads. When I went to buy some the other day I discovered that the "lite" version has barely over half the calories of the regular dressing, replacing a lot of the oils with water and xanthan gum (somewhere under 2%.) I would like to make my own BC dressing with olive or coconut oils, but reduced in quantity for calories.
The BBQ sauce project comes from my favorite sauce: Korean BBQ reduced to thick and then applied ten minutes before the meat finishes. Unfortunately, loaded with sugar. I would like to thicken with an edible gum and use stevia or Splenda to sweeten. (Frankly, the amount of sugar on the meat combined with the fat makes for a much lower glycemic index than would otherwise be the case. But who's counting?)
My last desire is to make pancakes or biscuits from coconut flour, primarily. I can't recall which of the gums it was that I read about, but replacing gluten with the gum seems to do the trick.
So, anyone with experience out there? What say you?