Guar gum

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Also called guaran, it is extracted from the seed of the leguminous shrub Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, where it acts as a food and water store.

In the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry Guar gum is used as an effective binder, stabiliser, disintegrator and thickener. Widely used in bakeries, diaries and the production of processed meat, dressings and sauces.

It is an important natural food supplement with high nutritional value, for weight gain and cholesterol reduction. In cosmetics, especially shampoos and toothpastes, guar gum is used primarily as a thickening and suspending agent. In beverages, it is used as stabiliser for preparing chocolate drinks and juices. Guar is also widely used in tobacco, leather, insecticides and pesticides, crayons and adhesives amongst others.

Known adverse effects are flatulence, diarrhoea, abdominal distension and intestinal obstruction.