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Videos in the Basics of Food Gums Series


>>PERRY: In this episode, the category of food gums we’re going to look at is Seed Gums. In our first video, Matt and Maureen provided a little background on food gums as a whole. If you’d like to watch that video for a quick introduction, click the link in this video or in the description below.

>>LOTZ: Seed gums are considered to be ancient grains and they’ve been used for centuries in a variety of ways. The gums in this category inlcude Guar Gum, Fenugreek Gum, Tara gum, and Carob gum, also known as Locust Bean Gum. Fenugreek has been used in traditional recipes for generations in countries like India and Italy. Carob Gum can be dated back to 4000 BC where it was known as the “Egyptian Fig.” Interestingly enough it’s also where we derive the word carat, which is the popular term used describe the weight of precious stones.

>>PERRY: Seed gums generally follow the same procedure for extraction and processing. The seeds are soaked to separate and expose a small internal layer that is the actual source of the gum. That layer is then milled into powder for the final desired form. From there it will be included in an endless array of products like soups, sauces, beverages and even dairy products.

>>LOTZ: Out of this list of seed gums, the one you’re more likely to recognize is Guar Gum. Guar Gum has been grown in regions around India and Pakistan for generations as a food source for both humans and livestock. Guar has significant agricultural advantages because it replenishes nitrogen in the soil and is able to thrive in drought conditions, which makes it an extremely reliable and stable crop. Guar Gum is a popular ingredient among developers because of its superior water binding and viscosity building attributes.

guar origin infographic

>>PERRY: So you might find yourself asking, why is Guar Gum in my ice cream? That’s a great question. Because of Guar Gum’s water binding ability it keeps products consistent throughout what we call freeze-thaw cycles. Here’s a quick explanation of that cycle: through the various stages of production, transport, stocking and final placement in your home refrigerator, the ice cream experiences periods of warmer and colder temperatures. As your ice cream softens and re-freezes, its texture and stability changes, and Guar is the key ingredient that keeps the ice cream consistent. That way the product quality you experience at home is as close as possible to what you find on the production line.

>>LOTZ: So to wrap up, in this episode we were able to touch on a new category of gums as well as look at the beneficial characteristics of Guar Gum, one of the more recognizable Seed Gums in this category.

Common food gums chart

>>PERRY: If there’s more learning you’d like to do on food gums, then check out this book by Andrew Hoefler called “Hydrocolloids”. It may get a bit technical, but it’s a great overview of common hydrocolloids. Also, there are some online journals you can reference and again, they can get technical but don’t let that stop you.

>>PERRY: We hope you found this video helpful and perhaps presented a new perspective into the world of Food Science. Thanks for watching.