Microbial polysaccharides are important sources in food industry. The family of polysaccharides derived from microbes plays a pivotal role in many industries and an inevitable role in food processing industries. These microbial polysaccharides enhance the quality, texture, mouth feel and flavor of the food as thickeners, stabilizers, and texturizer and also as a gelling agent.Among the profound variety of polysaccharides some of them are approved by the FDA as food additives and are extensively used in food processing industry. This paper gives a review on some microbial polysaccharides that are most commonly used such as Xanthan gum, Gellan gum, Dextran and Pullulan. Most of these find their application as stabilize, thickener, emulsifier, texturizer and as gelling agents. The addition of these microbial polysaccharides as food additives enhances the overall food quality.
Dextran is a linear polysaccharide which is obtained from the Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Acetobacter Sp. and Streptococcus mutans. But it is commercially produced by the L. mesenteroides and L. dextranicum. It is the first microbial polysaccharide that has got commercialized and approved for used in food. It is used in pudding mixes to provide them with texture and mouth feel. It is used in confectionary for retaining moisture, viscosity and inhibits sugar crystallization. It also acts as a gelling agent in gums and gels.