What is Guar Gum?

Also known as:  Indian Cluster Bean, Guar and Guaran.

Cluster Bean by Wikimedia Commons

Guar gum is a fine powder obtained from the ground endosperm of guar seeds. It has numerous commercial applications, especially in the food industry, where it is used as a thickening, stabilizing and emulsifying agent, and as a binder.  It’s also used in pharmaceuticals and industrial products.

Guar seeds belong to the annual leguminous species Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, commonly known as guar, Guvar bean or cluster bean. The seeds have a large endosperm, made up of complex carbohydrate, composed of galactose and mannose.

Where is the Cluster Bean grown?

India is the largest producer of guar gum responsible for 80% of world production. Other producers included Pakistan, USA, Australia and Africa.

What does guar gum look like?

It’s an off-white free flowing, gluten free and soluble powder. The powder is sometimes referred to as guar flour.

By The original uploader was Quintinz at English Wikipedia. [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Culinary Use of Guar Gum

Guar gum has numerous applications in the food, pharmaceutical and industrial industries.

  • In the food industry, guar gum is used as a thickening, stabilizing, and emulsifying agent in processed foods. It’s also used as a food binder.
  • As a food additive, it emulsifies, binds water, prevents ice crystals in frozen products, moisturizes, thickens, stabilizes and suspends many liquid–solid systems. It is used in ice cream, sauces, cake mixes, cheese spreads, fruit drinks and dressings usually in amount of <1% of the food weight. (Journal of Food Science)
  • It’s used as an additive to replace wheat flour in gluten free baked goods.
  • Non-culinary use: It’s also used in paper, textile, explosive, oil well drilling and cosmetics industry

Which foods contain guar gum?

A lot of processed foods contain guar gum. For example cream cheese,Ice cream, yoghurt, salad dressings, gravy, sauces, Breakfast cereals, vegetable juices, puddings, cake mixes, cheese spreads, fruit drinks. Please read your food label.

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Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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