When you mention guar gum, you immediately think of thickeners. In fact, in addition to its role as a thickener, it is also a very good water-soluble dietary fiber, a high-quality prebiotic. Therefore, in the field of food, people's understanding of guar gum is gradually changing from the "functional component" of food manufacturing to the "functional component" of food nutrition.
1 Thickener
Guar gum (CNS No. 20.025; INS No. 412): It is made from guar bean endosperm slices through hydration, crushing, and other steps. It is almost odorless or has a slight beany odor, and is white to light yellow in powder form.
Guar gum is mainly used as a thickener and water holding agent in food processing, and is usually used alone or in combination with other edible gums. Guar gum quickly hydrates in cold water to form a highly viscous and thixotropic solution. Its 1% dispersion system has a viscosity of about 6000 cPs, making it the best known colloid for viscosity enhancement and water absorption. This ability to combine with a large amount of water has made it widely used in the food industry.
The main functions of guar gum in food are as follows:
Stabilization: It can stabilize the multiphase system (oil, water, solids), stabilize the viscosity, stabilize the colloid and reduce the surface tension, so as to stabilize the emulsion and suspension, and stabilize the foam liquid.
Thickening effect: It can increase the consistency of foods and enhance the gas holding capacity of certain fruit juices and beer.
Softening effect: Used as an improver of edible gum together with xanthan gum, carob gum, etc.
Water retention: Prevents aging and water loss of baked goods such as bread and cakes, extends the insurance period, and can also be used in frozen foods, pudding, and yogurt.
Thin film properties: For example, it can be used in fast soups, instant drinks, microcapsules, spices, etc.
Viscosity enhancing effect: Increase the viscoelasticity of foods, improve the mechanical endurance and gas retention ability of dough, and is commonly used in bread, noodles, and other baked goods.
Prevention of large crystals: such as preventing the formation of coarse granulated sugar crystals in ice cream.
2 Prebiotics
The main component of guar gum, galactomannan, is a pure natural plant polysaccharide that belongs to water-soluble dietary fiber and is one of high-quality prebiotics.
Plant polysaccharides, also known as polysaccharides, are active macromolecules that exist in plants and are abundant biopolymers in nature. Polysaccharide is not only a nutritional component of living organisms, but also participates in a variety of life activities. It has physiological functions such as energy storage, structural support, defense functions, and antigen characterization, and is the material foundation of life. It is widely found in nature and is one of the effective ingredients of various Chinese herbal medicines. It is an ideal immune enhancer that can significantly improve the function of the immune system of the body, without toxic and side effects on normal cells. It has significant effects in anti-tumor, antiviral, anti aging, and other aspects.
Research has found that guar gum has various functions of water-soluble dietary fiber in the human body, which can reduce cholesterol in the liver and blood. It can inhibit the rise of blood sugar in sugar load tests, and also has the effect of regulating insulin and reducing insulin in the blood.
Application of guar gum in food
The ability of guar gum to bind to a large amount of water makes it widely used in the food industry. In the food industry, guar gum mainly plays a thickening and water holding role, and its specific applications in several common foods are as follows:
Frozen products:
Guar gum plays a stabilizing role by improving and controlling the properties of water in foods. Used in various frozen dairy and non dairy products, it can prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing and thawing, giving the product a smooth, creamy texture, and improving the chewing sensation. In addition, guar gum can also prevent the product from melting too quickly, thereby extending the product's shelf life.
The use of guar gum (0.2% - 0.5%) in ice cream can prevent the formation of granular ice crystals, while controlling the formation of large ice crystals and lactose crystals, improving product stability, especially melting resistance and sudden heat resistance. It is significantly superior to other colloids in improving taste convenience, and can give ice cream a smooth and waxy taste.
There are different formulations of mixed emulsifying stabilizers used in ice cream. Chen Weiyong and others formulated a dosage of 0.14% guar gum, 0.02% xanthan gum, 0.03% carrageenan, and 0.06% CMC Na; In Zhou Li's formula, guar gum 0.15%, xanthan gum 0.1%, carrageenan 0.012%, and gelatin 0.15%; Liu Liangzhong et al. mixed konjac flour and guar gum in a ratio of 3:2 to form a binary composite additive and added a certain proportion of monoglyceride to form a composite stabilizer. By adding a composite stabilizer to ice cream, better expansion and melting resistance can be achieved, improving the overall quality of the product.
Baked food:
In various baked foods, guar gum can impart excellent film properties to dough, especially products made from low gluten flour. Bread products have excellent water retention, soft tissue, and high volume expansion. Adding guar gum to cake and biscuit dough will make the product softer and have a better shape, while not being easily broken when slicing. It can also shorten the mixing time of the batter and improve the internal structure.
Fruit juice beverage:
The application of guar gum in fruit juice products can ensure that the pulp is evenly distributed during canning and storage, improving the taste. In addition, guar gum can coordinate the suspension state of particles in fruit drinks and effectively combine with emulsifiers.
Zhao Rongzhong et al. found that when xanthan gum and guar gum (1:2) were added to peanut milk at a ratio of 0.5 ‰, they could maintain the best stability; Adding carrageenan 0.545 ‰, CMC 0.503 ‰, and guar gum 0.562 ‰ to the lactic acid bacteria beverage can achieve the optimal stability effect of the active lactic acid bacteria beverage.
In addition, when guar gum is added alone to yam mixed juice, apricot mushroom peanut complex protein beverage, and apricot pulp solid beverage, its stability is not ideal. However, when mixed with xanthan gum and pectin in a certain proportion, the product can achieve the best stability effect.