What Is Organic Guar Gum?
Guar gum is made from the endosperm (the part of the seed that stores food for a growing plant embryo) of the cluster bean. Mostly, organic guar gum powder is utilized as a food additive. But it can also be found in dietary supplements, textiles, and cosmetics. Organic guar gum possesses a unique ability to form hydrogen bonds with water molecules, making it a useful thickener or stabilizer.1
The cluster bean plant is a drought-tolerant plant, and its scientific name is Cyamopsis tetragonoloba. It belongs to the Leguminosae family. According to various reviews, the plant is also known as the Indian cluster bean plant, guar, and guaran.2
Organic guar gum is a gel-forming galactomannan (or polysaccharide) obtained by grinding the endosperm of the Cyamopsis tetragonolobus. The plant mostly grows in Pakistan and India. It loves the sun and is quite tolerant of higher temperatures. The plant is very susceptible to frost.3
History Of Organic Guar Gum
When it comes to the origins of organic guar gum, details are up for debate. The plant is believed to be indigenous to Africa. It’s generally thought that it was transported to southern parts of Asia by Arab traders sometime between the 9th and 13th centuries. Today, the plant is associated with India and Pakistan, where it’s grown as a food source.4
The organic guar gum industry reached the United States in the 1940s. Guar was only used as a green fertilizer before World War I. Around 1943, the U.S. began using imported locust bean gum from Europe and North Africa to produce textiles and paper, but because of World War II, it was hard to come by. So, the U.S. Department of Agriculture tried to find a domestic plant that could act as an easy substitute for locust bean gum. They decided guar gum fit the bill.5
Since the 1950s, organic guar gum has been used as a thickener in processed foods. A bonus tidbit: organic guar gum can help prevent ice crystals from forming, so it is used in ice cream.6