Did You Know


Guar gum, or clusterbean, (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub) is a drought-tolerant annual legume that was introduced into the United States from India in 1903.

The major world suppliers and manufacturers of guar gum can be found in India and Pakistan. India is the leading exporter of guar gum, commanding about 80% of global production, followed by Pakistan. 20% of the Indian production is used domestically, 80% exported.

The guar gum manufacturing process yields husk and germ called “guar meal”, widely sold in the international market as cattle feed. It is high in protein and contains oil and albuminoids, about 50% in germ and about 25% in husks.

The largest market for guar gum is in the food industry.

The quality of the food-grade guar gum powder is defined from its particle size, rate of hydration, and microbial content.

Guar gum swells in hot or cold water and is one of the most efficient water-thickening agents used in the food industry. It has eight times the water-thickening potency of cornstarch.

Guar gum is a hydrocolloid particularly useful for making thick pastes without forming a gel and for keeping water bound in a sauce or emulsion.

Guar gum is one of the most frequently used gums in gluten-free recipes and gluten-free products. Guar gum can be used because it plays a similar role as wheat, rye, and barley (a.k.a. gluten) in conventional recipes.

Guar gum is a good source of soluble fiber.

For hundreds of years, the guar pods have been used as a vegetable in India.

Guar is an excellent soil-improving crop and fits well in a crop-rotation program. Increased yields can be expected from crops following guar because of increased soil nitrogen reserves. When used in rotation with cotton in Texas, researchers measured a 15% yield increase in cotton.

The guar plant is about 4 feet tall in height with large leaves and cluster of pods.  Pods are generally 1 1/2 to 4 in. long and contain 5 to 12 seeds each. Seeds vary from dull-white to pink to light gray or black and range from 900 to 1,600 seeds/oz.

Four out of five people will use guar from India, with seven out of ten of those using guar from the state of Rajasthan.

Fun Facts:

Guar gum based bubble juice has become one of the most popular DIY big bubble recipes. The guar gum allows the bubbles to be self-healing with good longevity and therefore helps create bubbles of colossal size.

There are also many DIY slime recipes found on the internet that include guar gum. These recipes can create a product very similar to the slime seen in the Ghostbuster movies or found in commercially available slime toys.

Polypro’s guar gum was used in an episode of Myth Busters.
Episode 118 – “Swimming in Syrup”
Original air date: May 6, 2009