The use of guar gum is expanding every day in a myriad of industries because of its unusual natural properties, which include the ability to form hydrogen bonding with water molecules.
This aspect alone makes guar gum suitable for many diverse purposes, increasingly positioning it as one of the more indispensable agrochemicals used throughout the world.
The following blog explores how guar’s extraordinary thickening, emulsifying, binding and gelling properties continue to benefit a growing array of products and key industries.
Food, textile, paper, cosmetics, oil well and drilling, mining, paper, forestry, pharmaceutical and many others.
A hardy desert legume, it derives its name from the Sanskrit word meaning food for cows. Originating in the western and northwestern sectors of India, guar has been cultivated for thousands of years.
However, it has only become popular for its industrial applications over the course of the last few decades.
Guar produced in the United States is manufactured by Guar Resources in America’s arid southern plains, which is a biome known for a rainfall pattern that would not be suitable for many other types of plant growth.
The majority of guar is grown for its endosperm, and the resulting free-flowing, off-white powder powder with an earthy odor is the ground endosperm of beans derived from de-husked and milled guar seeds.
Harvested within 3 to 4 months of planting, the guar plant requires rain both before planting and again afterwards to induce maturation of the seeds, which are sown from May to July and harvested from October to December.
The world production of guar gum and its derivatives is about 1.0 million tons, 80% of which is produced in Rajasthan, India. It is also grown in Pakistan, the United States and Brazil.
Cultivated in the United States since 1903, guar primarily served as a green manure and for livestock feed.
It wasn’t used extensively until 1945, when a war shortage of locust bean gum (LBG) prompted researchers to study guar as a potential substitute.
Due to its thickening, emulsifying, stabilizing, binding, and gelling properties, solubility in cold water, wide pH stability, film-forming ability and biodegradability, guar gum applications occur in multiple industries.
Since the 1950s, guar gum has been used to create processed foods, in which it acts as a thickener and prevents the formation of ice crystals, which is essential to the creamy aspects of ice cream.
Guar is also an indispensable ingredient in baked goods due to its unique ability to improve texture and crumb structure and contribute to both dough yield and the extension of shelf life.
It serves as an excellent binding agent for ingredients used in gluten-free recipes and effectively thickens batter.
Guar stabilizes the preparation of processed cheese; improves the melting capabilities of ice cream; thickens soups, gravies, baked goods, yoghurt and milk and cheese products; improves texture and moisture retention in pasta and the flow properties in sauces and dressings.
Guar is also used in the production of pet foods and due to the fact the husk of guar gum splits and the germ of guar seed are rich in protein, guar meal is often fed to livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, deer, elk, giraffes, camels and poultry as a natural replacement for protein supplements.
It’s important to note for the more meticulous food manufacturers, Guar Resources is the only producer of guar gums that are USDA certified organic, and while all guar is 100% natural, gluten free and vegan, our end-product is also kosher and halal-certified and made exclusively from guar beans grown in the United States via sustainable farming.
Guar gum powder serves several important purposes within the mining industry. Natural polysaccharides, such as guar gum, are cost-effective, possess a high resistance to mechanical and thermal degradation and are biodegradable, which ensures that they are eco-friendly.
Guar gum powder aids oil handling and production by acting as a green corrosion inhibiter, which when added in very small concentrations, blocks metal and corrosive agents from contact with the surface.
A new class of modified guar gum causes a sharp reduction in the surface and interfacial tensions (IFTs), and during enhanced oil recovery (EOR ) operations can act as effective means for fracturing fluids.
These chemical compounds strengthen the fracture and at the same time minimize the damage that occurs from the process.
Guar gum and its derivatives may also possibly account for as much as 90% of all gelled fracturing fluids because they are so easily and effectively dispersed.
This process is boosted by potent oxidizing agents, which are added to the fracturing fluids for the purpose of breaking the polymer once it reaches a specific temperature.
These derivatives are a class of specialty chemicals that are emulsion breakers, which separate emulsions and prevent damage to pipelines and equipment.
They also serve as flocculants, which promote clumping in the treatment of water water.
Guar gum is very useful in the flotation process, which is widely used for extracting many minerals from their ores.
Makeup, skin and hair care comprise the majority of the cosmetics sector.
The guar gum powder utilized in cosmetics is produced from high grade ingredients and the most advanced processing techniques known to modern science.
This ensures that the end product, whether it be a soap, skin lotion, shaving cream or shampoo, is always of the best quality and safe for all skin types.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes guar gum on its list of Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) ingredients when used in cosmetics and personal care products.
When guar gum powder is incorporated into gels, shampoo and creams, it provides a smooth texture and makes application easy.
As a surficant, it removes liquid surface tension and is often incorporated in the formulations of shaving creams and lubricants.
Guar gum is also used extensively in the manufacture of toothpaste because it allows the paste to be easily expelled from the tube without any pressure.
Due to the fact that guar gum powder can be added to water without being heated beforehand, it is an ideal thickening agent for use in lotions and creams that increases emulsion stability and prevents water loss and the separation of liquid from a gel.
Only a small amount is needed to enhance a product’s consistency and its superior thickening properties help to build up lather, making it perfect for use in soaps.
In the case of shaving products, razors become easier to use because guar gum powder decreases friction arising from static charges.
As a non toxic emulsifier that binds to liquids and forms a thick material, guar gum powder is widely utilized in the manufacture of lipsticks, shampoos, face masks and conditioners.
Face masks are made from natural ingredients, which nourish and cleanse the skin, rendering elasticity.
Guar gum powder, along with spring water, olive oil and glycerin, is almost always included in the formulation of shampoos and skin care products.
In the case of shampoos specifically, the use of guar gum powder can reduce the need to use a conditioner.
According to the Wildland Fire Chemical Systems (WFCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, when used as thickeners for fire retardants to be dispersed aerially, guar gum can transform the liquid into a “blanket” and keep it from evaporating in the heat or from being blown away before it hits the drop zone.
There are two types of fire retardants; namely, those which when mixed or diluted with water to end-use concentration result in a gum thickened solution, and those which do not contain a gum thickener, such as guar gum powder, and result in water-like compounds.
Fire retardant concentrates that are supplied as fluids or liquids, such as guar gum powder, are preferred because they are easily diluted with little mixing, hardware and/or manpower.
When guar gum powder is added to a concentrate of dry powder and water, it transforms it into a condensed, highly viscous and elastic substance that enhances the liquid flow of the chosen fire retardant solution.
Guar gum printing as a thickener is an important component in the textile industry for a number of reasons.
Due to the fact that its composition is capable of absorbing water to create a sticky paste, when used for textile printing, it eases the direct painting process on wool, nylon and silk.
Guar thickeners are color enhancers that render a vitality to print by giving color to disperse dyes in the printing of polyester and similar fabric.
These thickeners are also utilized in printing dyes on cotton, carpets, acrylic blanket painting, burn out and vat discharge.
They have the ability to arrest premature chemical reactions in the printing process and enhance the quality of printing by preventing chemical erosion.
They also reduce wrap breakage and absorb water very rapidly, which helps to hinder the ink from spilling all over clothing.
Guar uses are manifold within the world of pharmaceuticals because of its ability to produce highly viscous solutions which benefit the formulation of supplementary diet products, drugs and medicines.
It acts as a binder, thickener and stabilizing agent as well as an anti-microbial, appetite suppressant and laxative, which makes it ideal for therapeutic applications.
Guar gum is highly desirable because of its distinctive chemistry, lack of toxicity and the fact that it can be dispersed with other ingredients both separately and sometimes in concentrated form as well.
In the manufacture of tablets, 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 and guarantees that the finished pill will remain intact after compression.
As a weight loss aid, 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.
In designing new drug delivery systems, guar 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.
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.
The application of guar gum in paper manufacturing results in a superior-product, as it has the natural ability to modify the fiber surface properties of dry paper, providing a sleeker and denser surface that is slated for printing.
It also has the ability to easily blend and react positively to other manufacturing ingredients, intensify interactions at specific areas of contact and improve the retention of smaller particles and other chemicals.
Other benefits of guar in paper production include: its success as a bonding agent; its unparalleled thickening and gelling properties; its ability to boost tensile strength, which refers to the maximum stress a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking, and improve surface quality and durability.
In 2014, we invested heavily into the creation of a new, cutting-edge, centrally-controlled processing plant that is responsible for our voluminous annual output, and is equipped with the most innovative technology available in the realm of industrial science.
These tools have enabled us to maintain our status as the producer of the most accredited guar gum powder made anywhere in the world.
As mentioned earlier, our guar products are USDA certified organic as well as Kosher, Halal, Non GMO and FSSC 22000 food safety certified, and as a company, we are fully ISO 9001:2015 compliant.
We ensure product perfection via a quality assurance team that consistently inspects the raw material after it is properly graded and processed before it is packaged and distributed.
The guar gum powder produced under our team’s watchful umbrella is made exclusively via sustainable farming methods from beans that are wholly grown in the United States.
We stand behind a stellar reputation that rests upon our industrial expertise, superior customer service and the consistent quality of our guar gum powder.
The demand for guar gum is increasing every day due to its amazing properties that serve so many modern industries.
If you own or operate a business or manufacturing company within any of the above-mentioned industries, and you’re looking to source guar gum powder in any quantity from a company that provides quality assurance, transparency, customization and a fully traceable, reliable supply chain at more economical prices than foreign producers, contact our team at Guar Resources today — (806) 637-4662.
We’re here to help!
Photo Credits: Pixabay & the Guar Resources team
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