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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Guaran, Guar Beans

(Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus)

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  • Guar Gum Herbal Description
  • Guar Gum Uses, Health Benefits & Scientific Evidence
  • Guar Gum Dosage Information
  • Guar Gum Safety, Cautions & Interactions
  • Guar Gum Supplements & Products

  • guar gum splits, powder, beans and plant


    The Guar plant is a small nitrogen-fixing annual that bears pods, each containing a number of seeds. Native to tropical Asia, the plant grows throughout India and Pakistan and has been grown in the souther US since the beginning of the 20th century. Guar gum is a dietary fiber obtained from the endosperm of the Indian cluster bean. The endosperm can account for more than 40-percent of the seed weight and is separated and ground to form commercial guar gum.


    Guar Gum, also called guaran, is a galactomannan. It is primarily the ground endosperm of Guar Beans. The Guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, off-white powder. The Guar Bean is principally grown in India, Pakistan, US, China, Australia and Africa. India produces 2.5 to 3.5 million tons of Guar annually, making it the largest producer with about 80-percent of world production. In India, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana are the main producing regions, and Jodhpur, Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh in Rajasthan are the major Guar trading markets. Hanumangarh - Ganganagar is the main production area for best quality guar beans, so called "Fast-Hydrating Guar". The United States has produced 4,600 to 14,000 tonnes of Guar over the last 5 years. As many as 50,000 acres of Guar have been grown in West Texas over the last 50 years.

    The world production for Guar Gum and its derivatives is about 1.0 Million tonnes. Industrial Guar Gum accounts for about 70-percent of the total demand. Mainly it is used as a proppant transport / proppant suspending agent in Hydraulic Fracturing Process. In 2012 guar prices increased by 900 to 1000-percent. The main reason for this large scale price rise was the inventory build up by companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger, amidst the fear of shortage of guar gum for drilling due to ongoing drought in Rajasthan. 2013 was a strong year for guar sowing and production in India. The total sowing area rose by 21-percent in 2013 to reach 10.6 million acres. Rajasthan, Haryana, and Gujarat - the three key guar-producing states - exceeded the sowing area target set by their respective agriculture departments. Non-traditional Guar cultivators in other Indian states also showed keen interest in the crop in 2013.


    Chemically, Guar Gum is a polysaccharide composed of the sugars galactose and mannose. The backbone is a linear chain of Beta-1,4-linked mannose residues to which galactose residues are 1,6-linked at every second mannose, forming short side-branches. Guar Gum is more soluble than Locust Bean Gum and is a better stabilizer, as it has more galactose branch points. Unlike Locust Bean Gum, it is not self-gelling. However, either Borax or Calcium can cross-link guar gum, causing it to gel. In water, it is nonionic and hydrocolloidal. It is not affected by ionic strength or pH, but will degrade at extremes pH and temperature (e.g. pH 3 at 50°C). It remains stable in solution over pH range 5 to 7. Strong acids cause hydrolysis and loss of viscosity, and alkalies in strong concentration also tend to reduce viscosity. It is insoluble in most hydrocarbon solvents.

    Guar Gum shows high low-shear viscosity but is strongly shear-thinning. It is very thixotropic above 1-percent concentration, but below 0.3-percent, the thixotropy is slight. It has much greater low-shear viscosity than that of locust bean gum, and also generally greater than that of other hydrocolloids. Guar Gum shows viscosity synergy with xanthan gum. Guar Gum and micellar casein mixtures can be slightly thixotropic if a biphase system forms.


    Guar Gum is economical because it has almost eight times the water-thickening potency of Cornstarch - only a very small quantity is needed for producing sufficient viscosity. Thus, it can be used in various multiphase formulations: as an emulsifier because it helps to prevent oil droplets from coalescing, and/or as a stabilizer because it helps to prevent solid particles from settling.


    Guar Gum retards ice crystal growth nonspecifically by slowing mass transfer across the solid/liquid interface. It shows good stability during freeze-thaw cycles. MANUFACTURING PROCESS

    Depending upon the requirement of end product, various processing techniques are used. The commercial production of Guar Gum normally uses roasting, differential attrition, sieving, and polishing. Food-grade Guar Gum is manufactured in stages. Guar split selection is important in this process. The split is screened to clean it and then soaked to prehydrate it in a double-cone mixer. The prehydrating stage is very important because it determines the rate of hydration of the final product. The soaked splits, which have reasonably high moisture content, are passed through a flaker. The flaked Guar split is ground and then dried. The powder is screened through rotary screens to deliver the required particle size. Oversize particles are either recycled to main ultra fine or reground in a separate regrind plant, according to the viscosity requirement. This stage helps to reduce the load at the grinder. The soaked splits are difficult to grind. Direct grinding of those generates more heat in the grinder, which is not desired in the process, as it reduces the hydration of the product. Through the heating, grinding, and polishing process, the husk is separated from the endosperm halves and the refined Guar split is obtained. Through the further grinding process, the refined Guar split is then treated and converted into powder.

    The split 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-percent in germ and about 25-percent in husks. The quality of the food-grade guar gum powder is defined from its particle size, rate of hydration, and microbial content. E412 Guar Gum is an important natural food supplement with high nutritional value.


    Manufacturers define different grades and qualities of guar gum by the particle size, the viscosity generated with a given concentration, and the rate at which that viscosity develops. Guar gum grading involves analysis for coloration, viscosity, moisture, granulation, protein content and insolubles ash. Coarse-mesh Guar Gums will typically, but not always, develop viscosity more slowly. They may achieve a reasonably high viscosity, but will take longer to achieve. On the other hand, they will disperse better than fine-mesh, all conditions being equal. A finer mesh, such as a 200 mesh, requires more effort to dissolve. Modified forms of Guar Gum are available commercially, including enzyme-modified, cationic and hydropropyl Guar.


    Guar gum has been used for centuries as a thickening agent for foods and pharmaceuticals. It continues to find extensive use for these applications as well as the paper, textile, and oil drilling industries.

    Industrial applications include uses in the textile industry for sizing, finishing and printing; the paper industry for improved sheet formation, folding and denser surface for printing; the explosives industry as a waterproofing agent mixed with ammonium nitrate, nitroglycerin, etc.; the pharmaceutical industry as binder or as disintegrator in tablets and a main ingredient in some bulk-forming laxatives; cosmetics and toiletries industries as a thickener in toothpastes, conditioner in shampoos (usually in a chemically modified version).

    Medical institutions, especially nursing homes, used Guar Gum to thicken liquids and foods for patients with dysphagia. Food applications have the largest market for Guar Gum in the food industry. In the US, differing percentages are set for its allowable concentration in various food applications. In Europe, Guar Gum has EU food additive code E412. Xanthan Gum and Guar Gum are the most frequently used gums in gluten-free recipes and gluten-free products.

    Other industries using Guar Gum include the hydraulic fracturing shale oil and gas extraction industries, which consumes about 90-percent of guar gum produced from India and Pakistan. Mining hydroseeding in formation of seed-bearing "Guar Tack". The fire retardant industry it is used as a thickener in Phos-Chek and in the nanoparticles industry to produce silver or gold nanoparticles, or develop innovative medicine delivery mechanisms for drugs in pharmaceutical industry.


  • In baked goods, it increases dough yield, gives greater resiliency, and improves texture and shelf life; in pastry fillings, it prevents "weeping" (syneresis) of the water in the filling, keeping the pastry crust crisp. It is primarily used in hypoallergenic recipes that use different types of whole-grain flours. Because the consistency of these flours allows the escape of gas released by leavening, Guar Gum is needed to improve the thickness of these flours, allowing them to rise as a normal flour would.

  • In dairy products, it thickens milk, yogurt, kefir, and liquid cheese products, and helps maintain homogeneity and texture of ice creams and sherbets. It is used for similar purposes in plant milks.

  • For meat, it functions as a binder.

  • In condiments, it improves the stability and appearance of salad dressings, barbecue sauces, relishes, ketchups and others.

  • In canned soup, it is used as a thickener and stabilizer.

  • It is also used in dry soups, instant oatmeal, sweet desserts, canned fish in sauce, frozen food items, and animal feed.


    The Guar plant, also known as a cluster plant, grows primarily in Pakistan and the northern regions of India. It thrives on the drought/monsoon cycles present in those areas. The plants are harvested after the monsoon season and the seeds are allowed to dry in the sun. The seeds are then manually or mechanically separated and processed into a flour or sold as split seeds. Guar gum is an important cash crop for the Indian and Pakistani economies.

    Derived from the little-known Guar Bean, Guar Gum is a natural thickening agent used extensively in the commercial food industry. At the consumer level it is most commonly used when baking with whole grain flours that typically do not rise due to their lack of gluten. Guar Gum improves the thickness of whole grain and gluten-free flours, allowing them to rise and take on the light, fluffy consistency of more common baked goods.

    Guar Gum can best be described as a natural food thickener, similar to Locust Bean Gum, Cornstarch or Tapioca Flour. It is an excellent addition to sauces and salad dressings. It is said to have significantly more thickening ability than cornstarch, at a fraction of the cost. This has made it a popular additive in products such as puddings and ice creams. Until recently, it was also an ingredient in non-prescription diet pills designed to create a sense of fullness.


    Things You Will Need
    • Guar Gum
    • Whisk
    • Hand Mixer
    • Measuring Spoons

    Place guar gum in an empty salt shaker. Guar gum has a tendency to clump when added to liquids, so shake it into liquids while whisking at a high speed to keep your food smooth and thick.

    Mix with liquids first. Small amounts of guar gum can give fruit smoothies a milkshake texture. Mix a pinch of guar gum with water or any other liquid used in your drink, and make sure all lumps are dissolved. Use 1/4 teaspoon for every quart of liquid to prevent gelling.

    Guar gum is often considered to be a good substitute for xanthan gum, however when substituting add an additional half of the required amount of xanthan to equal a comparable measure. As an example, if 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum is required, add 3 teaspoons of guar gum.

    Use guar gum in bread, pastries or cake for a low-cost way to increase the volume of dough or batter. It also can be used in place of cornstarch in pie or pasty fillings to prevent the fruit from running. Mix guar gum in dairy-based dressings for a thicker, more appealing appearance and texture, combining it with your liquid elements first. Use guar gum when creating dry soup mixes. Follow your recipe exactly, and use 1/4 teaspoon for every quart of liquid used. The guar gum will bind to the water or broth, creating a luxurious and thick texture. Use guar gum in gluten-free baking. The gluten in wheat acts as a protein binder in bread, creating a chewy texture. When you omit wheat from your recipe, your bread will fall flat. Guar gum will replace gluten as a binder, allowing you to achieve the same chewy results, says the Celiac Sprue Association.

    Guar Gum can be purchased from our merchants below and at many health food stores.

    While consumers may balk at such exotic ingredients as Locust Bean Gum, Carageenan and Guar Gum, the truth is many ice creams, puddings, and canned sauces would be fairly inedible without them. Guar Gum is not just a thickening agent, but a binder and plasticizer as well. When untreated ice cream melts and refreezes, grainy ice crystals often form. This substance has the natural ability to bind with water molecules, preventing them from forming the unwanted crystals. Processed foods with creamy textures are primarily held together with binders such as this. Without a binder, the individual ingredients might separate into a watery mess.

    The use of guar gum as an ingredient in non-prescription diet aids was officially banned in the early 1990s by the FDA. It would bind with liquids in the stomach and swell, causing a feeling of satisfying fullness. This swollen mass could also cause dangerous intestinal and duodenal blockages, however. Guar gum was declared unsafe and ineffective for use as a non-prescription diet aid, although it is still used in small amounts as a food thickener and binder.


    Guar Gum, as a water-soluble fiber, acts as a bulk-forming laxative, so is claimed to be effective in promoting regular bowel movements and relieving constipation and chronic related functional bowel ailments, such as diverticulosis, Crohn's disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

    Several studies have found significant decreases in human serum cholesterol levels following Guar Gum ingestion. These decreases are thought to be a function of its high soluble fiber content. Guar Gum has been shown to have positive effects on cholesterol at doses ranging from 12 to 15 g/day. Most short-term studies (< 1 year) in patients with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia have demonstrated a decrease in serum total cholesterol levels approximately 6.5 to 15-percent and in low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) by between 10.5 and 25-percent, without any effect on triglycerides or high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) levels. A long-term study in 40 patients illustrated that the effects of Guar Gum on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are sustained with continued use over a period of 24 months. A comprehensive review of the lipid-lowering effects of Guar Gum described a general hypothesis for the mechanism of this action: Guar reduces cholesterol absorption and increases bile excretion leading to increased hepatic turnover of cholesterol. It has been suggested that the effects of Guar on LDL cholesterol metabolism are similar to those of the bile-sequestering agents. Guar Gum also has been used as an adjunct to more conventional lipid-lowering therapy. Coadministration with lovastatin resulted in a larger decrease in total cholesterol levels (44-percent) compared with lovastatin alone (34-percent) after 18 weeks of treatment. Guar gum has an unpleasant flavor. Placebo-controlled trials have used a number of methods in an attempt to mask this; using uncoated granules, powders, crispbreads, and other flavored formulas.

    Guar Gum has been considered of interest in regard to both weight loss and diabetic diets. It is a thermogenic substance. Moreover, its low digestibility lends its use in recipes as a filler, which can help to provide satiety, or slow the digestion of a meal, thus lowering the glycemic index of that meal. In the late 1980s, Guar Gum was used and heavily promoted in several weight-loss products. The US Food and Drug Administration eventually recalled these due to reports of esophageal blockage from insufficient fluid intake, after one brand alone caused at least 10 users to be hospitalized, and a death. For this reason, Guar Gum is no longer approved for use in over-the-counter weight loss aids in the United States. Moreover, a meta-analysis combining the results of 11 randomized, controlled trials found Guar Gum supplements were not effective in reducing body weight.

    Two Japanese studies using rats showed Guar Gum supports increased absorption of Calcium occurring in the colon instead of in the small intestine. This means lesser amounts of calcium may be consumed to obtain its recommended minimum daily intake. This has obvious implications for reduced calorie diets, since some calcium-rich dairy products tend to be high in calories.

    Guar Gum, though, is also capable of reducing the absorbability of dietary minerals (other than Calcium), when foods or nutritional supplements containing them are consumed concomitantly with it, but this is less of a concern with Guar Gum than with various insoluble dietary fibers.

    Some studies have found Guar Gum to improve dietary glucose tolerance. Research has revealed the water-soluble fiber in it may help people with diabetes by slowing the absorption of sugars by the small intestine. Although the rate of absorption is reduced, the amount of sugar absorbed is the same overall. This may help diabetic patients by moderating glucose "spikes".


    Nutrition Value Per 1.4 Grams (1/2 Teaspoon)
    (Source: USDA National Nutrient Data Base)
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of Daily Value
         Energy      5 Calories (From Fat)      
         Carbohydrates      1 g      <1%
         Protein      0 g      
         Total Fat      0 g      0%
         Cholesterol      0 mg      0%
         Dietary Fiber      1 g      4%
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Vitamin A      0 µg      0%
         Vitamin C      0 mg      0%
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Sodium      0 mg      0%
    Nutrient Value
    Percentage of RDA
         Iron      0 mg      0%
         Calcium      0 mg      0%
    µg = Micrograms
    mg = Milligrams
    IU = International Units

    Percent Daily Values are based on 2,000 calorie diet. * Daily Value not established.


    Depending upon use, serving size is 1/2 teaspoon (1.4 grams) to 1 tablespoon (10 grams). When using in a recipe, follow recipe directions.

    Guar Gum has been administered in amounts from 7.5 to 21 grams daily in clinical trials for weight loss. Guar Gum is a food additive shown to reduce serum cholesterol. It appears to have positive effects on blood glucose. Do not use Guar Gum to promote weight loss.


    Warning: Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty in swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention. The water-retaining capacity of the gum permits it to swell 10 to 20-fold and may lead to luminal obstruction, particularly when an anatomic predisposition exists. Take Guar with large amounts of liquid.

    Guar Gum may cause GI obstruction. Use Guar Gum cautiously in diabetic patients. Flatulence and other symptoms of GI distress are common during initial use. In the colon, Guar Gum is fermented to short-chain fatty acids. Both Guar and its resultant by-products do not appear to be absorbed by the gut. The most common adverse effects are GI pain, nausea, diarrhea, and flatulence. Approximately 50-percent of those taking Guar experience flatulence. This usually occurs early in treatment and resolves with continued use. A dose of approximately 3 grams three times daily, not to exceed 15 grams daily, can minimize GI effects.

    Large amounts of Guar Gum (10 grams or more daily) may decrease metformin serum concentrations and should be avoided.

    Guar gum may affect the absorption of coadministered drugs. Slowed absorption of digoxin, acetaminophen, and bumetanide, and decreased absorption of metformin, penicillin V, and some formulations of glyburide have been reported. Bezafibrate, glipizide, and glyburide are generally unaffected by coadministration.

    Some studies have found an occupational allergic sensitivity and asthma to guar gum developed in a few individuals working in an industrial environment where airborne concentrations of the substance were present. In those affected by the inhalation of the airborne particles, common adverse reactions were occupational rhinitis and asthma.

    Because of its potential to effect glycemic control, Guar Gum should be used cautiously in diabetic patients. Guar Gum is not teratogenic and does not affect reproduction in rats. Research reveals little or no information regarding toxicology with the use of guar gum. Soy protein occurs as an impurity in manufactured Guar Gum, and can make up as much as 10-percent. The guar gum can therefore adversely affect those with sensitivity to soy.

    In July 2007, the European Commission issued a health warning to its member states after high levels of dioxins were detected in a food additive - Guar Gum - used as thickener in small quantities in meat, dairy, dessert or delicatessen products. The source was traced to Guar Gum from India that was contaminated with pentachlorophenol, a pesticide no longer in use. PCP contains dioxins as contamination. Dioxins damage the human immune system.



  • Guar Gum Herbal Supplement Products

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    Guar Gum is an important noncaloric source of soluble dietary fiber. All-natural and organic pantry essentials, baking ingredients. A product of the guar plant, guar gum powder is used in bread baking and commercially in as a stabilizer in many foods, like condiments, dressing, sauces, juices, and chocolate milk. Use as desired.


    Mountain Rose Herbs: Guar Gum Powder, Certified Organic, Miscellaneous Bulk Ingredients
    A natural powder produced from the seed of Cyamopsis tetragonolobus. Our certified organic Guar Gum powder is used as a binder, thickener, and volume enhancer in food preparations. This water-soluble fiber is often utilized in gluten-free recipes. Guar Gum consists primarily of the ground endosperm of Guar Beans. The seeds are dehusked, milled, and screened to obtain the Guar Gum. Choose from 3 different sizes.


    Starwest Botanicals: Guar Gum Powder, 1 lb.


    HerbsPro: Guar Gum Dietary Fiber Powder, Source Naturals, 8 oz. (2481)
    HerbsPro: Guar Gum Powder, Now Foods, 8 oz. (68309)


    Amazon: Guar Gum Fiber Supplement Products
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