Guar Gum Powder
Overview of Guar Gum Powder
Guar gum powder is derived from the guar bean. It is created primarily from the endosperm of the bean. Endosperm is essentially the tissue of any kind of seed. The endosperm of the guar bean, for example, is the guar seed. The seeds go through a complicated milling process made up of de-husking, milling, and screening to obtain the guar gum. Guar gum is most commonly produced as a powder, coarse, free-flowing, and an off-white color. It is most commonly used in industrial applications as well as in food applications.
History of Guar Gum Powder
The guar plant essentially makes guar gum. It is an annual plant that produces legumes that are highly nutritious for animals and humans. It also replenishes nitrogen in the soil. But, it is the endosperm (seeds) of the guar plant that is the most valuable today. Guar gum powder is the result of milling the endosperm of the guar plant.
The guar plant must grow in order to get the endosperm, though. It grows the best in sandy soils in the semiarid regions of the world, ideally in Northwest India and parts of Pakistan. In fact, Jodhpur City, located in the state of Rajasthan in India, contributes 40% of the world's guar gum supply.
One of the only downfalls to the guar plant being grown in India and Pakistan is that too much rainfall tends to negatively affect the guar plant. It makes the plant too leafy and it subsequently cannot produce as many legumes. So, the final output of the guar plant is totally dependent on the monsoon season and how serious it is from year to year.
Early uses of the guar plant included cattle feed. Since the plant is rich in protein it was perfect for cattlemen to give to their animals. In more modern times, guar gum was used as an industrial application in the paper and textile industries after the severe locust bean gum shortage after World War II. Once guar gum was found to be the best replacement for locust bean gum, it replaced it almost permanently.
Now it is used in both industrial and food capacities. In the industrial capacity it helps to give paper a denser surface for printing as well as helping waterproof explosives. In the food industry it helps to prevent a quick meltdown of ice creams as well as to thicken soups, dressings, and sauces.
Benefits of Guar Gum Powder
Guar gum powder has some noticeable health benefits. It is a water-soluble fiber and acts as a laxative to those who suffer from irregularity. Guar gum powder's solubility also helps it to absorb toxic bacteria that causes diarrhea. Studies have also shown that guar gum powder may also help reduce cholesterol.
Healthy Claims of Guar Gum Powder
Guar gum powder is often used to help treat such irritable bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease, diverticulosis, colitis, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Essentially, guar gum powder gives more mass to the intestines, which aids in the removal of waste from the system.
It is also a thermogenic substance, which helps in both weight loss and diabetic diets. Guar gum powder has a low digestibility, so it is often used as filler in foods. This is important because the guar gum powder used in foods can help to slow down the digestion of a meal, which lowers the overall glycemic index of that meal.
Recommended Daily Allowance of Guar Gum Powder
Guar gum powder is often treated as a dietary fiber so often, the recommended daily allowance of guar gum powder coincides with the recommended daily allowance of fiber. To be more concrete, studies have shown that 10 to 25 grams per day of dietary fiber is sufficient and healthy enough to maintain healthy minimums in the body. There is some discrepancy and some sources now recommend up to 35 grams daily.
Summary of Guar Gum Powder
To summarize, guar gum powder is made from the legume of the guar plant by a complicated milling process of the endosperm of the guar plant. The guar plant is most commonly found in the semiarid regions of India and Pakistan as well as around the southwestern United States. It is used in both industrial and food capacities as a thickening agent as well as a way to prevent rapid melting in frozen dairy products. It is also present in nutritional supplements such as polysaccharides. Studies have shown that guar gum powder acts as a water-soluble fiber and can treat such diseases as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's Disease, and olitis. It can also be beneficial for those with diabetes because it helps reduce the glycemic index of a meal.