Guar gum, also called guaran, is a galactomannan polysaccharide extracted from guar beans. India has about 70 % share of total guar gum production in the world. Chemically, guar gum is an exo-polysaccharide composed of the sugars galactose and mannose. Guar gum is more soluble than locust bean gum due to its extra galactose branch points. Guar gum shows a clear low shear plateau on the flow curve and is strongly shear-thinning. It is very thixotropic above 1% concentration, but below 0.3%, the thixotropy is slight. It is not affected by ionic strength or pH, but will degrade at extreme pH and temperature.It is insoluble in most hydrocarbon solvents. Due to it gelling properties guar gum finds extensive industrial application such as 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, Hydraulic fracturing Shale oil and gas extraction.
One use of guar gum is a thickening agent in foods and medicines for humans and animals. Because it is gluten-free, it is used as an additive to replace wheat flour in baked goods. It has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol and lower blood glucose levels. Guar gum retards ice crystal growth by slowing mass transfer across the solid/liquid interface. It shows good stability during freeze-thaw cycles. Thus, it is used in egg-free ice cream. Guar gum has synergistic effects with locust bean gum and sodium alginate. Guar gum is a hydrocolloid, hence is useful for making thick pastes without forming a gel, and for keeping water bound in a sauce or emulsion. Guar gum can be used for baked goods, In dairy products, For meat, it functions as a binder,In condiments, it improves the stability and appearance of salad dressings, barbecue sauces, relishes, ketchups and others.Guar gum is also a good source of fiber with 80% soluble dietary fiber. Studies suggest that guar gum could improve digestive health, decrease blood sugar, blood cholesterol, appetite, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and calorie intake.