Locust Bean Gum Powder
Locust bean gum powder is not a very familiar name, yet it is part of many of the products we use everyday. Understanding the history, benefits, health claims, and recommended daily allowance of this substance can help you make better decisions about what you eat and what you use.
Overview of Locust Bean Gum Powder
Locust bean gum powder is made from the Carob tree. This tree is found mostly in the Mediterranean. The long pods that grow on the tree are used to make this gum. When the outer husk is taken off, another layer of the pod is exposed. This is where the gum comes from. It is dried, roasted and beat into a powder.
Locust Bean Gum Powder is found in many items that are eaten daily in the industrialized world. Some of these products are ice cream, frozen desserts, sauces, cream cheese, desserts gels, meat products, cheeses, pie filling, baked goods, soup bases, frozen batters, bread, breakfast cereals, flour, syrup, condiments, and salad dressings. The bean, when made into powder is sweet with a similar flavor to chocolate. It is used to sweeten different foods and as a chocolate substitute.
It is also used in non-edible products such as pet foods, mining products, paper making, and to thicken textiles. It is used in cosmetics and to enhance the flavor of cigarettes. Shoe polish and insecticides also have locust bean gum powder as an additive. Obviously, it is a very valuable commodity in the industrialized world.
History of Locust Bean Gum Powder
Since locust bean gum powder is used pervasively in the industrialized world, it may seem like a new discovery, but in fact it is very old. Archeology shows that carob trees and their pods grew in Israel in 4000 B.C. The locust bean was sometimes referred to as the Egyptian fig and was recorded in the writings of Theophratus in 4 B.C.
The Egyptians used the gum to prepare bodies for mummification. Some of the left over parts of the locust bean have been found in Egyptian tombs. Archeologists also discovered remnants of the locust bean dating back to 79 AD in Pompeii.
Benefits of Locust Bean Gum Powder
One benefit of locust bean gum powder is its ability to enhance the texture of foods. For example, ice cream is made smoother, is more flavor consistent, and is less melt resistant thanks to locust bean gum powder.
Adding locust bean gum powder to a food product increases the dietary fiber without increasing the calories. Because of this, it has helped develop great tasting diet or reduced calorie food. The presence of this substance in diet foods helps them maintain their original flavor. The presence of this substance in foods also increases the swelling of food once in the stomach. This helps to keep you fuller longer. It is considered a natural appetite suppressant.
The technology used to add locust bean gum powder to food is very economical. Combine the cost efficiency with the taste consistency and the result is satisfied producers and consumers.
An increasing number of people are finding out they are allergic to or cannot tolerate gluten. Locust bean gum powder in foods is a great alternative to gluten. It is non-allergenic and safe.
Healthy Claims of Locust Bean Gum Powder
Locust bean gum powder is a low-fat powder. When it is added to foods, it can decrease the fat and increase the fiber making it a healthy alternative to high fat low fiber foods.
The powder can also be used as a caffeine free coffee substitute. Less caffeine is good for the body. With its natural appetite suppressant, it can aid in weight loss and lower the often devastating affects of obesity.
Locust bean gum powder also has medicinal value. It has been found to reduce diarrhea, especially in infants. It can help reduce coughing as well. It has been used in the treatment of diabetes by reducing insulin levels in the body. It can also be made into sugar free, starch free flour for diabetics. Locust bean gum powder can be used in the treatment of hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol) for some of the same reasons it helps aid in the treatment of diabetes.
Recommended Daily Allowance of Locust Bean Gum Powder
Studies done on the consumption of locust bean gum powder have found that a recommended daily allowance is not necessary. This is based on biochemical, toxicological, and other data collected in testing. It is safe and acceptable to be used in food and does not show any hazards to health.
Summary of Locust Bean Gum Powder
In conclusion, locust bean gum powder is safe and healthy when added to food and very useful in developing products used everyday. As with many high quality nutritional supplements such as polysaccharides, the benefits of locust bean gum powder for everyday living are numerous.