Example of ingredient that thicken beverage but not contribute to viscous in solid beverage application


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  1. Ricebowl Food Expert
    May 14, 2019 at 9:43 am

    We can incorporate xanthan gum or Carboxyl methylcellulose (CMC) into beverage mix in order to improve the thickness & mouthfeel of end product. Additionally, carrageenan can be added as secondary stabilizer.

     Xanthan Gum

    In dry mixes, fine particle size xanthan gum offers quick, high viscosity development in cold or hot system which genuinely yield outstanding texture and flavour release. For this application, xanthan gum can be paired with a dispersant such as maltodextrin to yield a dispersible product that capable to provide a quick viscosity development with minimal mixing and that has a stable viscosity (Phillips & Williams, 2014).


    Addition of xanthan gum at level of 0.1%-0.2% by weight in instant mixes of beverages can employ as a thickener, suspension or body agent.  For such beverages, xanthan gum usually blends with CMC or guar gum (Nussinovitch & Hirashima, 2014). Interaction between xanthan gum and guar exist have synergistic effects which result in enhanced viscosity or gelation. The optimum synergy of xanthan-guar blends is achieved with 20% xanthan and 80% guar (Sworn, 2009).

    Figure 1.0: Theoretical (dashed line) and observed (solid line) viscosities for blends of guar and xanthan gum. Data were collected with a Brookfield LVT viscometer at 60rpm at 25°C.


    Xanthan-guar blends have wide variety of applications owing to their good sensory qualities and lower cost compared to xanthan alone (Nussinovitch, 2012). The blends of xanthan and guar gum are used in the food industry to prepare fluids that have superior viscosity then either parent polymer, and it is able to achieve desirable viscosity at low polymer concentration (Goyindu, 2015).

    Carboxyl methylcellulose (CMC)/Cellulose gum

    CMC can be used to thicken dry mix beverage and it is able to dissolve in both hot and cold water (Tabari, 2017) to give a clear, flavourless solution with a range of viscosity (Arancibia et al., 2016), depending on the CMC grade (Emerton & Choi, 2008). CMC is manufactured in a wide range of viscosities, namely low, medium and high-viscosity CMC grades.


    For fruit-based solid beverages, medium and high-viscosity CMC grades are used to stabilise and thicken powder mixtures. Sodium chloride, hydrochloric acid, and calcium dichloride reduced the viscosity of the CMC solution (Yang & Zhu, 2007). CMC thickens the solution by giving correct flow behaviour, which enhance the texture and overall mouthfeel. Mostly importantly, it prevents phase separation and formation of sedimentation of solids (Dow Wolff Cellulosics, n. d.).  It can be used alone or in combination with other gums, such as xanthan gum and propylene glycol alginate (Imeson, 2012).

    Secondary stabilizer

    On the other hand, we can add in secondary stabilizer to control syneresis in beverages. Carboxyl methylcellulose, guar gum and xanthan gum are considered as primary stabilizers and are often used in combination with carrageenan as a secondary stabilizer into the beverage mix (Shah, 2017).


    Carrageenan is commonly incorporated into dry mixes beverage application such as milk shake and instant breakfast powder wherein it is used to suspend the ingredients and impart richness and body to the drink. λ-carrageenan is preferred for cold prepared mixes due to its rapid cold solubility (Thakur & Thakur, 2016).


    As a food additive, carrageenan functions as a water binder. Besides being efficacious in thickening and stabilizing agents, carrageenan also great in improves palatability (mouth-feel characteristic such as richness, smoothness, creaminess, etc.) and appearance of foods. Carrageenan has wide variety of uses in water and milk-based systems. Fruit drink powders and frozen concentrate are typical application of carrageenan in water-based system (Nussinovitch, 2008).


    Market Examples

    No. Product Variety Ingredients

    Big Train’s Blended Crème Drink Mix Watermelon Flavour

    Sugar, Fructose, Partially Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Natural and Artificial Flavours, Non-Fat Milk, Corn Syrup Solids, Maltodextrin, Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative), Cellulose Gum, Dipotassium Phosphate, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono-and Diglycerides, Red 40 Lake, Red 40, Citric Acid, Sodium Silicoaluminate (Anti-Caking Agent), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Annatto Extract (For Colour).


    The Frozen Bean’s Unicorn Frappe

    Sugar, Non-Hydrogenated Non-Dairy Creamer [Non-Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative), Sugar, Dipotassium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono & Diglycerides, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Artificial Flavour and Colour (Annatto)], Crystalline Fructose, Non-Fat Milk, Sprinkles (Sugar, Wheat Starch, Modified Corn Starch, Dextrose, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #5 and FD&C Blue #1), Corn Syrup Solid, Natural and Artificial Flavours, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Silicon Dioxide  (Anti-Caking Agent), FD&C Blue #1.


    MOCAFE’s ZENFreeze Blended Fruit Creme Mix

    Sugar, Creamer [Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate (a Milk Derivative), Sugar, Tricalcium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono and Diglycerides, Salt, [Artificial Flavour], Maltodextrin, Coffee, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Lactose (Milk Derivative), Natural Flavour, Salt, Stabilizer (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum).


    Big Train Blended Crème Drink Mix Strawberry Flavour

    Sugar, Fructose, Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Non-Fat Milk, Natural and Artificial Flavour, Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative), Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Silicon Dioxide (Anti-Caking Agent), Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids,  Carrageenan Gum, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Annatto Extract (For Colour), Red #40.


    Angel Specialty Products’ Blended Crème Honeydew Flavour

    Sugar, Maltodextrin, Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Natural & Artificial Flavours, Sodium Caseinate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono and Diglycerides, Yellow 5 Lake, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Carrageenan, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin, Blue 1 Lake, Annatto (For Colour).


    Angel Specialty Products’ Blended Crème Banana Flavour

    Sugar, Non Dairy Creamer (Coconut Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Sugar, Dipotassium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide, Propylene Glycol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono & Diglycerides, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Artificial Flavour and Colour), Banana Powder, Natural & Artificial Flavours, Non-Fat Dry Milk, Stabilizers (Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dextrose, Carrageenan), FD&C Yellow S Lake.



    • Dow Wolff Cellulosics. (n. d.). Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose: The ideal hydrocolloid for beverages. Walsrode: Author.

    • Emerton, V., & Choi, E. (2008). Essential guide to food additives (3rd ed., pp. 226-227). Leatherhead: Leatherhead Publishing and Royal Society of Chemistry.

    • Nussinovitch, A., & Hirashima, M. (2014). Cooking innovations(p. 264). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis/CRC Press.

    • Phillips, G., & Williams, P. (2014). Handbook of hydrocolloids (2nd ed., p. 201). Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Limited.

    • Shah , N. P. (2017). Yogurt in Health and Disease Prevention (p. 52). UK: Academic Press.

    • Thakur, V. K., & Thakur, M. K. (2016). Handbook of polymers for pharmaceutical technologies (p. 354). USA: Scrivener Publishing LLC.

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