What Are Some Foods That Contain Guar Gum?


Quick Answer

Some foods that contain guar gum are cheeses, soft ice cream, whipped cream substitutes and instant puddings. Gaur gum can also be found in some meat products as a binder. Gaur beans, which are the source of guar gum, are used in Asia as a human food source and for cattle feed.

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Guar gum is an economical food-stiffening agent that has nearly eight times the water-thickening properties of cornstarch. It functions as a stabilizer to prevent the settling of solid particles and can also be used as an emulsifier. Only a small amount of guar gum is needed to produce enough viscosity to prohibit oil droplets from binding together. This makes it useful in improving the appearance of various condiments and salad dressing products.

Although guar gum is used in industrial processes such as paper, cosmetics and cloth manufacturing, its largest use remains within the food industry. Because it is a water-soluble fiber with a low degree of digestibility, guar gum helps to produce a sense of satiety when included in food products. This makes it an attractive ingredient for use as a filler, and it also appeared in several weight-loss products during the 1980s. Its use in over-the-counter weight-loss remedies, however, has since been discontinued after esophageal blockages due to insufficient fluid intake with a particular brand resulted in some hospitalizations.

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