Guar gum is extracted from guar beans and has thickening & stabilizing properties that makes it quite a handy ingredient in the food, feed, and industrial applications. The seeds obtained from guar are mechanically dehusked, hydrated, milled, and screened as per the requirement. It usually occurs in the form of free-flowing, off-white powder. India is the largest producer of guar gum powder by contributing to almost 80% of the entire world production.
Properties of Guar Gum
- The presence of extra galactose points in its structure increases its solubility. Guar gum also has the ability to form gel as the addition of borax or calcium causes it to cross-link.
- Guar gum has the ability to hydrate in cold water and exhibit high viscosity at relatively lower concentrations. It imparts full viscosity even in cold water.
- Guar gum is a good thickener and therefore, it is used in foods & medicines for humans and animals as a thickening agent.
- It has excellent water binding capacity. This property of guar gum makes it an important ingredient in industries such as cosmetics, textile, paper, explosives, mining, pharmaceuticals, etc.
- Guar gum exhibits excellent compatibility with hydrocolloids. It shows excellent workability with chemically modified starches, modified celluloses, synthetic polymers, and water-soluble proteins.
- It has excellent film forming properties. This property of guar gum powder is tapped in the confectionary industry.
Guar Gum in Noodles
Guar gum powder is preferred in the production of noodles as it improves the texture, form, and aids in moisture retention. Flour noodles are dough products and they enjoy heavy consumption worldwide. Food grade guar gum powder is considered to be the most apt thickening agent for this particular application. The properties like neutral taste, appearance, flexibility, water retention, and binding property makes it felicitous for usage. The addition of guar gum prevents the noodles from getting stuck to each other. As a result, the time taken for noodles to soften and loosen in hot water reduces. It also improves the stability, modifies the texture, and facilitates the processing.
Guar gum also helps during the cooking of noodles. Its addition protects the starch granules against shear during cooking, as a result of which the product texture improves.
Guar Gum Application in Sauces
Guar gum is used as a thickening agent during the preparation of sauces. It is quite an effective thickener and yields a nice translucent sauce without changing its appearance. One advantage that it has over the other additives is that it does not require extra heat supply to do the required job. Apart from sauces, the guar gum powder is also used as a thickening agent for several other products, such as salad dressings or smoothies, gravies, etc. In the salad dressings, its addition will only thicken and emulsify the sauce but will not make the dressing creamy. Guar gum powder also acts as a water binder in sauces and salad dressings and reduces the oil and water separation.
The Bottom Line: Guar gum is a galactomannan polysaccharide and is composed of the sugars, galactose, and mannose. The structure of guar gum imparts it several properties that make it find several industrial applications. It is used in the production of noodles to facilitate their processing. Additionally, Guar gum powder improves the stability and modifies the texture of the noodle. It is also used as a thickening agent in the preparation of sauces. Guar gum does not require an additional supply of heat and thus it is used for other items as well, like salad dressings or smoothies, gravies, etc.