Uses of Guar Gum
Guar Gum is used in Industrial and Food Applications.
1) Industrial Applications
- 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, nitroglycerin, etc.
- Pharmaceutical industry – as binder or as disintegrator in tablets; main ingredient in some bulk-forming laxatives
- Cosmetics and toiletries industries – thickener in toothpastes, conditioner in shampoos (usually in a chemically modified version)
- Hydraulic fracturing Shale oil and gas extraction industries consumes about 90% of guar gum produced from India and Pakistan.
- Hydroseeding – formation of seed-bearing “guar tack”
- Medical institutions, especially nursing homes – used to thicken liquids and foods for patients with dysphagia
- Fire retardant industry – as a thickener in Phos-Chek
- Nanoparticles industry – to produce silver or gold nanoparticles, or develop innovative medicine delivery mechanisms for drugs in pharmaceutical industry.
2) Food Applications
The largest market for guar gum is in the food industry. In the US, differing percentages are set for its allowable concentration in various food applications. In Europe, guar gum has EU food additive code E412. Xanthan gum and guar gum are the most frequently used gums in gluten-free recipes and gluten-free products.
- In baked goods, it increases dough yield, gives greater resiliency, and improves texture and shelf life; in pastry fillings, it prevents “weeping” (syneresis) of the water in the filling, keeping the pastry crust crisp. It is primarily used in hypoallergenic recipes that use different types of whole-grain flours. Because the consistency of these flours allows the escape of gas released by leavening, guar gum is needed to improve the thickness of these flours, allowing them to rise as a normal flour would.
- In dairy products, it thickens milk, yogurt, kefir, and liquid cheese products, and helps maintain homogeneity and texture of ice creams andsherbets. It is used for similar purposes in plant milks.
- For meat, it functions as a binder.
- In condiments, it improves the stability and appearance of salad dressings, barbecue sauces, relishes, ketchups and others.
- In canned soup, it is used as a thickener and stabilizer.
- It is also used in dry soups, instant oatmeal, sweet desserts, canned fish in sauce, frozen food items, and animal feed.