Guar gum is a polysacharide (a long chain made of sugars) made of
the sugars galactose and mannose.
Some other familiar polysacharides are starch and cellulose, which
are made of long chains of the sugar glucose.
Guar gum comes from the endosperm of the seed of the legume plant
is an annual plant, grown in arid
regions of India as a food crop for animals.
Guar gum is used as a thickener in cosmetics, sauces, salad dressings,
as an agent in ice cream that prevents ice crystals from forming,
and as a fat substitute that adds the "mouth feel" of fat.
In pastry fillings, it prevents "weeping" (syneresis
) of the
water in the filling, keeping the pastry crust crisp.
It has a very high viscosity (thickness) even when very little is
When mixed with
locust bean gum
, the viscosity is
more than when either one is used alone, so less of each can be used.
By Simon Quellen Field