When I first bottled my salad dressing, I noticed that after a few days of bottling it, the ingredients started to separate. With the amount of cheese that is used in Sensation salad dressing, it looks really ugly after a few days.
I was proud of it at first, it definitely was a conversation starter, I was promoting it as all natural and separation is ok. Further more, I realized that when you pour it on a salad, the cheese stays on the top and the oil drops to the bottom of the bowl. At the end of that day, I realized what it is — a salad dressing, and if the taste profile isn’t what it should be, it’s not going to work.
I researched the most popular types of bonding agents/stabilizers and browsed through the isles of natural salad dressings to see what they use. By far, the most common bonding agent in salad dressings is xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is an all-purpose thickener/stabilizer for dressing, gravies, sauces, and an ideal substitute for gluten in baking.
Ok, I thought — let’s try it. I bounce the idea off a food scientist and he said xanthan gum would be a perfect fit, he gave me the recommend .5% xanthan gum per bottle. So, without testing it, I made a batch of 600+ bottles, and it was so thick we could barely sir the batch. It was unbelievable, some customers called it yogurt. Note this, xanthan gum is EXTREMELY potent and when combined with thick oils (EVOO) and a lot of cheese, it will turn your salad dressing into mayo. After doing small-batch testing, the amount I ended up using is about .13% per bottle — a little goes a long way. Continue reading Why I’m keeping Xanthan Gum in my salad dressing