The production of guar gum is abundant, scientific, and chemically modifiable, the latter of which is a vitally important factor in its widespread industrial use, and in the case of pharmaceutical applications, its uses are increasingly manifold.
The fact that guar gum can produce highly viscous solutions even at lower concentrations renders it water soluble, with the ability to form gels even in cold water. This unusual characteristic makes it highly beneficial to the formulation of supplementary diet products, drugs and medicines.
Moreover, it also acts as a binder, thickener and stabilizing agent as well as an antimicrobial, appetite suppressant and laxative, which makes it ideal for use in therapeutic formulations.
[sc_fs_faq html=”true” headline=”h2″ img=”” question=”What are the key ways in which guar gum is used in various pharmaceutical products:” img_alt=”” css_class=””] • Gelling, viscosifying and thickening • Stabilization • Suspension • Emulsification • Preservation • Water Retention/Water Phase control • Binding • Clouding/Bodying • Process aid • Pour control [/sc_fs_faq]
Not surprisingly, it was recently reported that “the Guar Gum market is estimated to reach USD 886.6 Million by 2027” and “the pharmaceutical industry is predicted to be one of the significant factors driving that growth.”
The challenge, however, that many pharmaceutical manufacturing companies face is finding a reliable, transparent, fully traceable guar gum supplier, something that has become increasingly difficult in the midst of the transformative effects the Covid crisis has had on supply chains and the shifting away from reliance on importation.
It is for these reasons, among many others, more and more companies that utilize guar within their production process are turning to Guar Resources for our certified, competitively priced guar gum powder, which is wholly-grown and produced within the United States.
The following blog explores the increasing benefits pharma-grade-grade guar gum powder provides the pharmaceutical industry, the many ways it is used within pharmaceutical products and why more and more companies are opting for our transparency, quality and dependability over other guar suppliers.
A Brief Dive Into Guar’s History And Its Production
Guar gum is a water soluble, drought-tolerant legume with a long history. Some time between the 9th and 13th centuries A.D, Arabian merchants transported guar from Africa to southern Asia for use as fodder for horses.
Guar was also fed to cattle as a rich source of protein, and it was widely consumed as a green vegetable in human diets throughout the far eastern regions of the world.
Guar was brought into the United States before World War I primarily as a green manure. It was not used in industrial applications, however, until 1943, when it proved to be an appropriate substitute for the dwindling supply of locust bean gum.
The plant thrived in Texas and southwestern Oklahoma where the dry rolling hills of America’s southern plains provided the perfect biome for its nourishment and growth.
Eighty percent of the world’s current production of guar take place in Rajasthan, India, but increasingly, thanks to us, more and more is being produced elsewhere, namely the United States, where we are the only producer of USDA certified organic guar gum powder.
The plant is grown mostly for its endosperm. (seed), which contains approximately 50% protein; 28% of which is endosperm and 22% hull. Its use is varied and extensive in a myriad of industries because of its amazing natural properties. Its ability to form hydrogen bonding with water molecules makes it suitable for many industrial applications.
While all powdered gums tend to form lumps when added to water, some gums create more complications than others. This is due to their absorbency, which attracts and retains water molecules like a magnet to metal. Guar gum can be dispersed with other ingredients or separately, sometimes in concentrated form.
Explore our guide to avoid lumping when dispersing guar gum powder into water.
Although processing methods vary widely according to manufacturer, the quality of ingredients, thickness of the end product and basic requirements remain the same.
Relevant to the pharmaceutical industry and others, Guar gum is also highly desirable because of its distinctive chemistry and lack of toxicity.
How Is Guar Used In Pharmaceutical Products?
The following represent the major categories in which guar gum is widely utilized within the pharmaceutical industry.
Guar Use In Tablet Manufacturing
Pharma-grade guar gum powder is used quite frequently in the micro-encapsulation of drugs. Tablet manufacturing is a crucial segment of the pharmaceutical industry.
In their production, guar gum serves as both a binder and disintegrator, which forces the tablet to break up and exert its medicinal action upon contact with moisture.
Guar also thickens and stabilizes tablet structure by enhancing the cohesiveness of the drug powder that is used in tablet creation, and as a binding agent, when guar is added to tablet formulas, it guarantees that the finished pill will remain intact after compression.
Guar Gum For Drug Delivery Applications
As a compound that contains a molecular structure consisting of a large number of similar units bonded together (polymer), guar gum is a natural amalgam with properties such as: biodegradability, biosafety, biocompatibility and sustainability.
This makes it ideal for a wide spectrum of functions in various biomedical fields and many applications within the pharmaceutical industry.
Most frequently, guar is utilized in designing new drug delivery systems where it serves as a rate controlling excipient (an inactive substance that is used as the medium for one that is active, such as a drug), and as an important influence in the absorption and bio availability of the blended drug.
As an excipient in pharmaceutical products, polymers help to target drug delivery, facilitate a drug’s adaptability for manufacture and ensure stability and therapeutic response.
Polymers can be developed either for embedding a drug in single layered nanoparticles (a particle of matter that is between 1 and 100 nanometers (nm) in diameter) or multi-layered polymersomes, (tiny hollow spheres that enclose a solution, dependent on the drug’s solubility).
In the case of a drug with a nanoparticle surface, a polymer, such as guar, begins dissolving upon stimulation and increases the dose release at the site where it is needed.
Guar Gum As Weight Loss Aid
As a non-caloric source of soluble dietary fiber, the gel forming characteristics of guar gum promote weight loss and obesity prevention. It serves as a bulking agent in the gut, which by delaying gastric emptying, increases feelings of fullness. This in turn reduces appetite and food intake.
While the nutritional composition of guar often differs between producers, the end product is usually low in calories and comprised mainly of soluble fiber. Protein content may range from 5 to 6 %.
Studies indicate that guar could be beneficial for the improvement of blood sugar and cholesterol levels and weight maintenance.
A 2016 study focusing on guar gum and its many pharmaceutical and biomedical applications was published in Advanced Science, Engineering and Medicine, (Volume 8, Number 8, August 2016, pp. 589-602).
Another earlier study published in Acta Medica Scandinavica examined the effects of guar gum on weight loss in women. Results indicated that consuming 15 grams of guar gum per day helped women lose 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg), which was more than those study participants who took a placebo.
Guar Gum’s Use As A Natural Fiber
Guar gum powder is also valued within the pharmaceutical industry because it is a natural fiber that aids in the cleansing of the intestinal and digestive systems, which are the cornerstones of a healthy body and mind.
Guar gum can protect active molecules against the harsh environment of both the stomach and small intestine, and it is easily degraded in the intestinal bacteria found in the colon. As a result, guar gum is frequently studied for the development of colon-targeted drug delivery systems.
Guar Gum May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Guar gum can improve glycemic control and decrease serum LDL-cholesterol. Although more research is needed in this area as well as a formal standardization of the formulations and means of administration of guar gum, some clinical trials have indicated that, when used alone, guar gum may reduce serum total cholesterol levels by 10 to 15%.
On the basis of presently available evidence, guar gum as a single drug to treat reducing serum cholesterol levels can be considered somewhat effective.
Nonetheless, further investigation is warranted concerning its use as a supplement in producing additional reductions in serum cholesterol in patients who are not responding well to other lipid-decreasing catalysts.
Some studies have indicated that guar gum may have benefits for pre-diabetics, diabetics, or those with high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
There is some evidence suggesting that guar has at least mildly positive effects that help avoid drastic blood sugar spikes and dips in at least one significant study.
Conducted in March, 1982 by C. Daumerie and J. C. Henquin, and published in Diabete Metab , this iconic study examined the effects of guar gum on the glucose tolerance and intestinal absorption of nutrients in rats.
The addition of guar markedly delayed the rise in plasma glucose levels when the concentration of the gum was adequate (10 mg/ml).
These results indicate that guar gum improves tolerance to oral carbohydrates by decreasing the rate of gastric emptying.
Guar Resources And Guar Gum Production
We are the only USA-based manufacturer and supplier of guar gum powder that is made from USA-grown guar beans and is USDA certified organic.
Aspects of this certification include: the selection of a USDA-accredited certifying agent; the submission of an application and fees; review and verification that all practices comply with USDA organic regulations.
While all guar is 100% natural, gluten-free and vegan, our guar is also kosher and halal-certified. Even more, our guar is produced exclusively via sustainable farming from beans grown in the United States.
Our manufacturing facility is situated in Brownfield, Texas, where the climate of the dry southern plains of America provides just the right amount of rain at the correct time.
We produce millions of pounds of guar gum powder annually, and our incredible output is due to our cutting edge processing plant, which was constructed in 2016. This centrally-controlled new facility operates 24/7. Here, bean splitting and powder production is performed.
The seeds are then mechanically de-husked, hydrated, milled and screened according to application, and the beans are processed into various intermediate products and powder.
The north side of our facility handles splitting operations; the south side converts the splits to powder. It is at this point a Quality Assurance team inspects the raw material after it is properly graded and processed before packaging and distribution.
Our unblemished reputation rests firmly upon our industrial expertise, superior customer service and the consistent quality of our guar gum powder, and any company engaging with us can rest assured knowing they are receiving the utmost transparency, impeccable quality and consistent dependability.
Within the pharmaceutical industry, new applications are being explored every day, and the future of guar within its dynamic confines is bright and secure.
Manufacturing companies of all types increasingly are harnessing guar’s inimitable uses and versatility, and more and more are opting for Guar Resources.
If you are a manufacturer and/or purveyor of pharmaceutical products, contact our team today for the highest quality, certified guar gum powder.
Photo Credits: Pixabay and Latimer Burnett