Stress-strain measurements have been performed in the linear region for soya oil-water emulsions stabilized with xanthan gum for various oil concentrations and for xanthan gum solutions for various xanthan gum concentrations. The big increase observed in the shear modulus for the emulsions (as compared to the solutions) is primarily due to the interaction between xanthan gum molecules and emulsion droplets. The results obtained are in broad agreement with the existing theories for concentrated dispersions and tend to show that the interdroplet interaction is similar to that expected for ‘soft’ deformabe spheres. The results for xanthan gum solutions can be explained if the xanthan gum solutions are not true solutions, but some form of dispersions.