Is Xanthan Gum Flammable?

In this blog post, we will answer the question, “Is Xanthan Gum Flammable?”. We will also discuss what xanthan gum is, and how to store xanthan gum safely.

Is Xanthan Gum Flammable?

No. Xanthan gum is not flammable. It is, nevertheless, a combustible material that ignites but does not spread a flame easily.

Xanthan gum has a flammability rating of 1. A preheating of xanthan gum is required before ignition may occur since it is stable at room temperature.

Therefore, you must avoid creating dust clouds, especially in a closed or poorly ventilated location, as dust and air can combine explosively, and any ignition source, such as a flame or spark, can create fire or explosion. 

It is particularly dangerous to breathe in dust clouds created by the fine grinding of the solid; if lit, tiny dust accumulations can burn quickly and furiously.

What is produced when xanthan gum is burned?

When xanthan gum is burned, it gives off carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and other byproducts of pyrolysis that are common when burning organic matter.

What is xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is a material used to manufacture packaged goods to thicken their texture.

This additive is a polysaccharide, or carbohydrate produced by the fermentation of Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. These bacteria are commonly found in broccoli, cabbage, and kale.

In addition to thickening the texture of food, Xanthan gum also works as an emulsifier or food adhesive.

Dressings like mayonnaise, for example, are prepared foods that include water and oil. Water and oil, in reality, cannot mix. These processed elements, however, can be harmoniously combined into a coherent whole with the aid of xanthan gum.

It is commonly employed in producing bread items, packaged fruit juices, ice cream, sauces and soy sauce, low-fat meals, and gluten-free foods due to its thickening and adhesive properties.

These additives are also often used in manufacturing several body care products, such as toothpaste, sunscreen, and shampoo.

Chemically, what is xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide made by the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. The chemical structure of xanthan gum is similar to that of cellulose, having a primary chain containing (1,4) D-glucose linkages.

Mannose acetate, mannose, and glucuronic acid make up the branching chain. The bacteria Xanthomonas campestris secretes xanthan gum, an extracellular polysaccharide. 

Using pure bacterial cultures, Xanthan gum may be produced commercially by an anaerobic fermentation method. Aerated bacterial cultures were grown in a medium containing glucose, nitrogen sources, and trace elements.

In packaged beverage goods, xanthan gum is often utilized in quantities of 0.1-0.2 percent. At low concentrations (0.1 percent – 0.2 percent), xanthan gum can create a thick solution; at 2 percent – 3 percent, it can form a gel.

Xanthan gum is a large molecular weight heteropolysaccharide composed of repeating units. Chemical composition The primary chain of xanthan gum is made up of (1,4) D-Glucose linkages, similar to the cellulose structure. 

Mannose acetate and glucuronic acid make up the branched-chain. Xanthan gum is a hydrophilic biopolymer easily soluble in cold and hot water but insoluble in most organic solvents. 

Xanthan gum has various benefits, including high viscosity at low concentrations, pseudoplastic, and temperature, pH, & electrolyte concentration insensitive. Because of these benefits, xanthan gum is widely used in the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, paper, paint, textile, and glue sectors.

Xanthan gum is added to dairy desserts to help gel formation and minimize syneresis. Fast dry items such as drinks, soups, desserts, and low-calorie products obtain uniform particle dispersion when xanthan gum is present.

Xanthan gum is used in the flour modification process to create a matrix capable of binding gas bubbles formed by the dough, allowing the dough to expand appropriately and have high elasticity.

Xanthan gum has the following structure:

How to store xanthan gum safely?

  • When not in use, make sure the container is firmly sealed. 
  • Avoid direct sunlight and sources of extreme heat by keeping containers in a cool and dry area.
  • Secondary containers or a diked area should be used depending on the material. 
  • Incompatible substances should not be stored in the same container.
  • Fire-resistant materials should be used in storage rooms. 
  • Do not allow smoking in any of the storage or usage spaces. 
  • Containers containing this substance should be kept at least 20 feet away from oxygen or other oxidizers, or by a barrier of non-combustible material at least 5 feet high, with a fire-resistance rating of at least 0.5 hours, to keep them safe.
  • Additional information on storage may be found in NFPA 654, Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids.

The OSHA Bulletin entitled “Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions” provides further information:  

  • Use only electrical equipment and motorized industrial trucks that have been suitably categorized. 
  • Lighting, ventilation, and structural materials that resist corrosion should all be utilized in the storage space. 
  • To prevent the material from soaking into the floor, a sealant should be applied. 
  • Ensure all containers are correctly labeled and not damaged before storing them. 
  • Make sure your storage space is equipped with adequate fire-fighting supplies (i.e., sprinkler system, portable fire extinguishers). 
  • To avoid dust buildup, good cleanliness is a need. 
  • Do not dry-sweep your carpets. 
  • Ensure the material is moist before vacuuming, or use an explosion-resistant vacuum with a high-efficiency filter. 
  • For handling this substance, use only conductive equipment (e.g., metal conveyors and pipelines) and ensure that all parts are grounded. 
  • They must be in direct contact with the metal when using grounding clips. 
  • If the storage room is not separated by a fire-resistant structure, don’t move anything there. 
  • Empty containers should be handled with caution since they may contain residual particles. 
  • Food, drink, and animal feed should be kept away from this substance.
  • Storage is open or unlabeled containers are not recommended. 
  • Reduce the amount of stuff you have on hand. 
  • To prevent dust buildup, wipe off the area where you’ll frequently be working.

You may learn more about xanthan gum safety data by clicking here.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we will answer the question, “Is Xanthan Gum Flammable?”. We will also discuss what xanthan gum is, and how to store xanthan gum safely.

If you still have more questions, please comment down below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Is Xanthan Gum Flammable?

How to handle xanthan gum safely?

  • All personnel who come into contact with this substance must be adequately trained in its safe handling. 
  • Dust should not be inhaled. 
  • Avoid any skin and eye contact. 
  • Ensure enough ventilation before using this product. 
  • After handling, properly clean yourself with soap and water. 
  • The usage of this product necessitates regular wiping down of the surfaces to prevent the accumulation of any material. 
  • When dry powders are subjected to friction during transport and mixing activities, they can generate static electricity. 
  • Ensure proper safety measures, such as electrical grounding and bonding or inert atmospheres, are put in place. 
  • It’s important to remember that wet spilled material is dangerous since it makes the floor slick.

References

Namita Jindal, Jasvirinder Singh Khattar, in Biopolymers for Food Design, 2018

https://datasheets.scbt.com/sc-296703.pdf
https://chemistryconnection.com/sds/data/pdf/Xanthan_Gum_SDS_CC.pdf

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