Guar Gum

By Jenna Shaw

What is Guar Gum?

Guar Gum is a binder/thickener that comes from guar beans in the form of a white powder. It has about eight times the thickening power of cornstarch without the starch sugars and is one of the most frequently used gums in gluten-free products. It is very economical as it can replace up to 10 times the amount of flour in most baking products. It mixes easily in water and does not require heating.

If you are currently on a gluten-free diet, then you should be able to consume any food that contains guar gum. It has a high content of fibre without the gluten, however too much can lead to diarrhoea or gas side effects so be wise when consuming too much. The gum can also be used when wanting to limit calorie intake to lose weight as it has properties that can delay the breakdown of food in the stomach and make you feel full longer. A healthy diet includes exercise and proper nutrition.

Guar Gum Producers

India is the largest producer and trader of Guar in the world, producing roughly 600,000 tons a year. Other major produces are the United States, France, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and South Africa. Guar Gum has many other uses than food as you will find it used in mining, cosmetics, oil and gas drilling, pet food, fire retardant and paper and textile manufacturing.

Guar Gum used in the Kitchen

guar gumWhen comparing Xanthan Gum versus Guar Gum used in the kitchen, we have found that Xanthan Gum works best when baking breads while the other is best used in cold foods like ice cream. There is no hard set rule about using both in a recipe however if you are allergic to Guar Gum then you might want to try using Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum or one of the many Xanthan Gum Substitutes listed here.

You can find out more information on Locust Bean Gum here.

Author: Jenna

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