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History of Guar Gum
- Guar gum comes from guar seeds, which are husked and processed in order to obtain the guar gum. The majority of guar seeds are grown in India and Pakistan but can also be found in smaller amounts in the United States, China, Australia and Africa. The guar plant is resistant to drought and has the ability to grow in dry climates where plant life is difficult to grow.
Once upon a time, 'Guar' was used as a protein rich cattle feed. In India, the tender green Guar is also used as a vegetable and cattle feed. A severe locust bean gum shortage, just after the second world war, adversely affected the paper and textile industries. Guar Gum was found to be the most suitable substitute for scarce locust bean gum. The technology of Guar Gum extraction was commercialized in 1953 in the USA and after approximately a decade in India.
- Guar gum is used in a variety of industries because it has many beneficial qualities. In food items it acts as an emulsifier or stabilizer allowing baked goods to last longer on the shelf and helping nutritional supplements and other products to merge oil-based and water-based ingredients to decrease separation. Guar gum has a high viscosity and can also improve the mouth feel of food-grade products. Guar gum can also remain uniform in various temperatures including in both cold and hot water.
- As many benefits as guar gum has for many industries, including paper, health care and food, it also can cause severe reactions to some who consume products that contain guar gum. Guar gum is highly absorbent and so it can create the feeling of being full in those who eat it. With this reaction can come extreme intestinal discomfort and, in the most severe cases, blockages that can be very dangerous. At one time guar gum was used for weight loss, but because of these side effects is no longer approved for that use.
- Guar gum is typically found in the form of a white powder. However, due to the processing the guar seeds undergo, it can also be found as guar meal, milled guar and guar protein.
- Guar gum can be purchased in different levels of viscosity depending on how thick you want your finished product to be. For example, you would purchase a more viscous guar gum for use in a milkshake than you would for a muffin recipe. Guar gum is effective with or without heat, which is a unique quality for a powdered ingredient.
- The guar plant 'Cyamopsis Tetragonalobus' is an annual plant. The legume is an important source of nutrition to animals and humans, it regenerates soil nitrogen and the endosperm of guar seed is an important hydrocolloid widely used across a broad spectrum of industries.
- Guar requires reasonably warm weather and a growing season of 14 to 16 weeks. It needs moderate intermittent rainfall with plenty of sunshine. Too much precipitation can cause the plant to become more 'leafy', thereby reducing the number of pods and/or the number of seeds per pod which affects the size and yield of seeds The crop is generally sown after the monsoon rainfall in the second half of July to early August and is harvested in late October early November. The Guar is a naturally rain fed crop and the total size of Guar crop varies from year to year depending on the monsoon rainfall.
Guar Gum Powder Standards are:
- HS-Code- 130 232 30
- CAS No.- 9000-30-0
- EEC No.- E 412
- BT No.- 1302 3290
- EINECS No. – 232-536-8
- Imco Code- Harmless