Product News

Basel, 25 August 2009

Zinc citrate and xanthan gum offer superior functions in toothpaste

Cleaning teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste is an essential part of today's oral hygiene routine. Brushing the teeth removes food particles, aids in the elimination of dental plaque and tartar from the teeth, and delivers active ingredients such as fluoride to prevent dental diseases.

Jungbunzlauer is a leading manufacturer of ingredients such as xanthan gum and zinc citrate that provide beneficial properties to toothpastes. While xanthan gum is applied as a very effective binder, zinc citrate helps to prevent malodour, tartar and plaque formation and can deliver anti-inflammatory functions in toothpastes.

Xanthan gum has highly shear thinning and pseudoplastic rheological properties, and therefore offers many advantages in handling during manufacturing as well as for consumer acceptance of the end products. Xanthan gum provides excellent stability to the formulation and is compatible for use with a wide variety of ingredients such as salts and surfactants. Toothpastes, including clear gels, coloured or white pastes, can be formulated with xanthan gum as the only binder. However, since Jungbunzlauer’s xanthan gum is free of enzymatic activities, it is also suitable to be combined with other binders such as cellulose and carrageenan to fine-tune rheological properties. In contrast to other binders, xanthan gum is very effective at thickening at low concentrations and thus can contribute to material savings and optimizing costs (Fig. 1). In addition, xanthan gum can considerably extend the shelf-life of toothpastes because of its excellent stability and water retention ability.

Fig. 1: Viscosity versus Concentration in standardized tap water, Brookfield LTV, 60 rpm, 25°C

Zinc citrate, an organic zinc salt, is also very suitable to be applied in toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum. Compared to other commonly used zinc salts, zinc citrate stands out because of its high mineral content of 31-33% zinc and its nearly neutral taste (table 1). Approximately 30 – 40% of zinc citrate remains in the oral tissue after brushing teeth or using mouthwash and thus protects against dental plaque, tartar formation and malodour even several hours after using the product.

Table 1: Comparison of commonly used organic zinc salts


SourceZinc ContentTaste
Zinc Citrate31-33%



Zinc Lactate22-24%



Zinc Gluconate12-14%





Zinc Acetate36%vinegar/bitter


Jungbunzlauer’s xanthan gum and zinc citrate offer superior functionality in oral care products when used as single ingredient or in combination. These high quality ingredients help to improve taste, appearance and shelf life, as well as profit margin in oral care applications.