Xanthan gum is a white to cream-coloured free flowing powder with a neutral taste. It is soluble in both cold and hot water and provides a rapid increase of viscosity. Even at low concentrations, xanthan gum solutions offer a higher degree of viscosity than other polysaccharides. Due to its elastic properties xanthan gum also features great stabilising effects, which allows the suspension of solid particles. Xanthan gum solutions are highly pseudoplastic (shear thinning) but not thixotropic, which means that after high shearing the initial viscosity is rebuilt instantaneously. Shear thinning enhances sensory qualities (flavour release, mouthfeel) and guarantees good pouring, brushing and cling of final products. Furthermore, it eases processing procedures such as mixing, pumping and spraying. Xanthan gum is very resistant to pHvariations and is therefore stable in both alkaline and acidic conditions. The thermal stability of xanthan gum is usually superior to most other water-soluble hydrocolloids. Its viscosity recovers after heat treatment steps during food processing, such as sterilisation or pasteurisation. Thus the rheological properties of the final products remain stable, irrespective of being kept in a refrigerator, stored at room temperature, or heated. Xanthan gum also improves the freeze/thaw stability of frozen foods.