What is Guar Gum

The ground seeds of the guar plant (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) that is finely powdered in the form of fiber is called guar gum. This product supports in normalizing the moisture component in the stool as it absorbs surplus liquid in people who are suffering with diarrhea and help in softening the stool during constipation. Guar gum can also assist in bringing down the amount of cholesterol and sugar that is present in the gut.

Guar gum in general is believed to look like Locust Bean and Carob Bean Gum. The appearance of guar gum ranges from white to cream and its powder and solution both are odourless and is tasteless. The powder dissolves quickly in cold and hot water however, it does not get dissolved in organic solvents. Guar gum is marginally acidic in nature with pH of 1 percent solution that varies from 5.4 to 7.7.

Characteristics and Cultivation of Guar Gum

Guar is an old crop being cultivated since ancient period. It is a rain fed yield and is normally seeded after the monsoon season is over. In other words, guar is a drought-forbearing plant that requires balanced legume crop and develops well in sandy soils. Guar needs mild, occasional rainfall with heaps of sunshine that goes beneath the soil.

The roots of guar plant can grow well in horizontal direction as well. A few kinds of this crop have little hair on all parts of the plant while some have smooth or no hair on the leaves, stems and pods. The appearance of leaves is like trifoliate (having three leaves or leaflets) and are manifested on long leaf stalks. The plants grow at a height of 45-100 cm and have small and white flowers. 

The hulls are square in shape and 5 to 10 cm in length and every hull include 5 to 12 seeds of oval or cube structure of varying size and colour. Every single seed is comprised of hull, endosperm, and germ components, usually in a weight proportion of 15 percent, 40%, and 45% respectively. While guar is being processed all these three components are split. 

Once the seeds are sent to the processing plant examined for removal of all sorts of dirt and broken seeds and are cleaned with the use of a basic seed cleaning vibrators, electromagnets, and shifter. The powder of guar gum is made after the hull and germ are removed from the seed and the endosperm is grinded into a fine powder. Dry grinding and wet grinding are two procedures used for dehulling and splitting of the seeds. 

Usage of Guar Gum

  • Food and Beverage Industry: Guar gum is extensively used in the food and beverage sector, where it is primarily utilised as a thickener and binder of free water. To elaborate, in the food and beverage industry guar gum is put to use in bakery, processed cheese, soups, pastry icing, noodles, meat, dressing and sauces, and a variety of beverages. The product is predominantly used as it helps in improving the texture of the food items, increase the yield of the dough, enhances the shelf life, acts as a stabilizer, prevents excessive stickiness, controls viscosity, and enhances body and mouth feel. Both the producers and the consumers like guar gum as it is less expensive and a natural preservative. 
  • Oil and Gas Well Drilling: The commercial significance of guar gum today is owing to its usage in the oil and gas well stimulation particularly hydraulic fracturing in which extreme pressure is used to break rocks. The fracturing fluid is made thicker by using guar gum so that it can hold sand into fractured rock. Hydroxypropyl guar (HPG) and carboxymethyl hydroxypropyl guar (CMHPG) are the two guar derivatives that are utilised in fracturing process. 
  • Textile and Carpet Printing: Guar gum stiffens the dye solutions in textile and carpet printing, which permits more sharp printed patterns that are required to be produced. 
  • Explosives: For more than 25 years guar gum is being utilised in explosives as a preservative to dynamite for blocking water. The product has become the key gelling agent in water-based slurry explosives in the recent years. Guar gums properties such as water blocking, swelling, and gelling make it a useful additive in explosive sector. 
  • Paper Production: The inclusion of a small amount of guar gum to the pulp improves the production of paper. It helps in the form of a fiber deflocculent and as a dry-strength additive. Guar gum serves as a denser surface to the paper that is used in printing.
  • Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals: Guar gum is used in conditioners and viscosifiers, as a thickener in toothpastes and shampoos. It is also used as a binder as well as to disintegrate compressed tablets and as a mild laxative and soluble dietary fiber. 

Interesting Facts About Guar Gum

  • The generic names for guar gum that are used in the scientific writing are Indian cluster bean, guar and guaran.
  • The cultivated genus is generally linked with India and Pakistan, where guar has been grown for several eras in the form of food for both animals and humans. 
  • Guar gum industry was established between 1940s and 1950s in the U.S. The United States brought guar before the World War I mainly as a green manure however it was not utilised in industrial usages until 1943 and possibly it was the primary reason why the product was studied in a limited extent.
  • Owing to its gel forming properties, guar gum demonstrates lowering impacts of cholesterol and glucose. Besides, its consumptions help in reducing weight and prevents obesity. 

Which Countries Produce High Volume of Guar Gum

The guar bean also known as cluster bean is agrarian crop that is primarily cultivated in the dry zone of West and North-West India, Pakistan, Sudan, and sections of the United States. In India more than 850, 000 tonnes of guar crop are grown which is the 80 percent of the total volume of the crop grown around the world. Also, 75 percent of the guar gum or derivatives manufactured in India are exported, largely to the United States and to European nations. 

In western India, Rajasthan is the leading guar producing state, holding 70 percent of the total production in the country. In addition, guar is also popularly cultivated in in Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and in some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Today, guar is also grown in various countries belonging to southern hemisphere, mainly in the semi-dry areas of Brazil, Australia, and South Africa. Moreover, it is also grown in the southern zones of the United States that is in Texas and Arizona. 

Price Evaluation of Guar Gum in Few Regions

As on November 30th, 2022, the prices for guar gum in India were INR 4423.43 per quintal (USD 54.45 per quintal).  In Asia Pacific, the price of the guar gum displayed a curve change in the third quarter of 2022. The prices increased in the second half of quarter three due to the growing demand and a shortage of inventory. Guar gum prices were marked at USD 2110 per MT for CFR Shanghai in September 2022. 

Guar gum prices displayed an upward trend of price curve with little fluctuation in the United States this was mainly owing to the heavy demand in contrast to the stored stock at the supply’s side. The cost of the product in September 2022 was at USD 2450 per MT CFR Houston. 

Key Players in the Guar Gum Market 

  • Hindustan Gum & Chemicals
  • Jai Bharat Gum & Chemicals
  • Vikas WSP, Ltd.
  • India Glycols, Ltd.
  • Shree Ram Industries
  • Altrafine Gums
  • Lucid Group
  • Supreme Gum Pvt. Ltd.
  • Neelkants Polymers

Conclusion

As per the evaluation by Procurement Resource, guar gum is the grounded seeds of the guar plant (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) that is finely powdered in the form of fiber. Normally, guar gum looks like Locust Bean and Carob Bean Gum and is an old crop being cultivated since ancient times. It is a rain fed produce and is usually seeded after the monsoon season is over. Hull and germ are removed from the seed and the endosperm is grinded into a fine powder to produce the powder of guar gum. Guar gum industry was established between 1940s and 1950s in the United States. Guar was brought to the United Stated before the World War I largely as a green manure. The guar bean is an agricultural crop that is predominantly cultivated in the parched zone of West and North-West India, Pakistan, Sudan, and sections of the United States.

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