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guar

The Guar or cluster bean, with the botanical name Cyamopsistetragonoloba, is an annual legume and the source of guar gum. It is also known as Gavar, Guwar, or Guvar bean.

Guar plant

Agriculture

  • Forage: Guar plants can be used as cattle feed, but due to hydrocyanic acid in its beans, only mature beans can be used.[1]
  • Green manure: Guar plantings increase the yield of subsequent crops as this legume conserves soil nutrient content.[1]

Domestic use

  • Vegetable: Guar leaves can be used like spinach and the pods are prepared like salad or vegetables.[4]Its beans are very nutritious but the guar protein is not usable by humans unless toasted to destroy the trypsin inhibitor.

Guar gum

Main article: Guar gum

The seeds of the guar bean contain a very large endosperm. This endosperm consists of a very large polysaccharide of galactose and mannose. This polymer is water-soluble and exhibits a viscosifying effect in water. Guar gum has a multitude of different applications in food products, industrial products, and extractive industry.

 

Food

In several food and beverages guar gum is used as additive in order to change its viscosity or as fiber source.

Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is produced by the partial enzymatic hydrolysis of guaran, the galactomannan of the endosperm of guar seeds (guar gum). It is a neutral polysaccharide consisting of a mannose backbone chain with single galactose side units occurring on almost two out of every three mannose units. The average molecular weight is about 25,000 Daltons. This gives a PHGG that still assays and functions as a soluble dietary fiber.

PHGG as sold commercially is completely soluble, acid and heat stable, unaffected by ions, and will not gel at high concentrations. Commercial PHGG is approximately 75% dietary fiber and has minimal effect on taste and texture in food and beverage items. PHGG is fully fermentable in the large bowel, with a high rate of volatile fatty acid formation. The pH of the feces is lowered along with an increase in fecal bulk that mainly consists of bacterial cell mass and water. Clinical studies have demonstrated a prebiotic effect of PHGG. Studies have also shown that PHGG can be used to maintain regularity. PHGG is used in foods for particulate suspension, emulsification, antistaling, ice crystal control, and reduced fat baked goods.

Industry

Derivatives of guar gum that has been further reacted is also used in industrial applications, such as the paper and textile industry, ore flotation, the manufacture of explosives and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil and gas formations.[9][18] Guar gum is often crosslinked with boron or chromium ions to make it more stable and heat-resistant. The crosslinking of guar with metal ions results in a gel that does not block the formation and helps efficiently in formation cleaning process. Guar and its derivatives make gel complexes with ions of Aluminium, Zirconium, Titanium, Chromium and Boron.[19] The borate–guar reaction is reversible, and depends on the pH (hydrogen ion concentration) of the solution. Crosslinking of guar with borate occurs at high pH (approximately 9–10) of the solution. Guar gum has also proven a useful substitute for locust bean gum (made from carob seeds).

Feeds

Guar meal korma and Guar meal Churi are widely used as prime raw material for Producing various kinds of Cattle feeds, Aqua feeds, Fish feeds, Poultry Feeds, Dairy feeds, Swine feeds etc.

Fracking agent

Through the use of guar gum in the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) extraction of oil and shale gas, the demand has increased substantially. Only 10% of the Indian production stays within the country and the remaining 90% is exported for shale gas and oil industries. Consequently, many former cotton or wheat fields are converted into guar fields as production costs are also lower. But the increase of guar gum prices also has other reasons.[20] But since prices are lower the farmers stop harvesting the Guar and returned to cotton & cumin and sesame crops sowing.