Guar gum

From Academic Kids

Guar gum is an edible thickening agent extracted from the guar bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba).
Guar gum is a cold water soluble polysaccharide, consisting of mannose and galactose units. This ability to hydrate without heating makes it very useful in many industrial and food applications.

Solutions with different gum concentrations can be used as emulsifiers and stabilizers because they prevent oil droplets from coalescing. Guar gum is also used as suspension stabilizer.

Industrial applications of guar gum

  • Textile industry – sizing, finishing and printing
  • Paper industry – improved sheet formation, folding and denser surface for printing
  • Explosives industry – as waterproofing agent mixed with ammonium nitrate, nitroglycerine etc.
  • Pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry - as thickener in toothpastes and shampoos and binder in tablets.
  • Oil and gas drilling
  • Mining

Food applications

The largest market for guar gum (EU food additive code E412) is in the food industry, where guar gum is used as a thickener and binder of free water in sauces, salad dressings, ice creams, instant noodles, pet foods, processed meats, bread improvers and beverages to name some.

Guar gum has very similar properties to locust bean gum, which is extracted from the seeds of the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua).

Demand for guar gum is still growing and the production of guar bean has expanded to other countries.

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