E 415 Xanthan gum – EU specification

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 231/2012 of 9 March 2012



Xanthan gum is a high molecular weight polysaccharide gum produced by a pure-culture fermentation of a carbohydrate with strains of Xanthomonas campestris, purified by recovery with ethanol or propan-2-ol, dried and milled. It contains D-glucose and D-mannose as the dominant hexose units, along with D-glucuronic acid and pyruvic acid, and is prepared as the sodium, potassium or calcium salt. Its solutions are neutral

Einecs: 234-394-2

Chemical name:

Chemical formula:

Molecular weight: Approximately 1 000 000

Assay: Yields, on dried basis, not less than 4,2 % and not more than 5 % of CO 2 corresponding to between 91 % and 108 % of xanthan gum


Cream-coloured powder


Solubility: Soluble in water. Insoluble in ethanol


Loss on drying: Not more than 15 % (105 °C, 2,5 hours)

Total ash: Not more than 16 % on the anhydrous basis determined at 650 °C after drying at 105 °C for four hours

Pyruvic acid: Not less than 1,5 %

Nitrogen: Not more than 1,5 %

Ethanol and propan-2-ol: Not more than 500 mg/kg singly or in combination

Lead: Not more than 2 mg/kg

Microbiological criteria

Total plate count: Not more than 5 000 colonies per gram

Yeast and moulds: Not more than 300 colonies per gram

Escherichia coli: Absent in 5 g

Salmonella spp.: Absent in 10 g

Xanthomonas campestris: Viable cells absent in 1 g