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Food Industry- Gums and Stabilizers

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Natural gums are polysaccharides of natural origin, capable of causing a large increase in a solution’s viscosity, even at small concentrations. In the food industry they are used as thickening agents, gelling agents, emulsifying agents, and stabilizers. Most often these gums are found in the woody elements of plants or in seed coatings. Food gums are complex carbohydrates which are derived primarily from plants and used as thickeners, gel forming agents, and/or stabilizing agents in food.  Water and “colloid” means dispersion of small particles in another medium).  Food gums help give many of the foods we eat their characteristic shape or consistency. They prevent sugar crystals from forming in candy, stabilize beer foam, form a gel in pudding, encapsulate flavor oils in powdered drink mixes, and keep oil and water mixed together in salad dressings. Many gums are derived from natural sources, including bushes, trees, seaweed, and bacteria. Guar gum, fenugreek gum, and locust bean gum come from seeds. Gums differ in their viscosity, ability to emulsify, ability to control freeze-thaw stability, likelihood of breaking down in low pH mixtures or under high heat, etc.  Gums really are used in a wide range of foods, including: Condiments, Shelf-stable gel desserts, pudding, baking goods, icings, meat, meat and fish analog, butter, sauces, gravies, frozen entrees, ice cream, beverages, beverages mixing etc.

A stabilizer is an additive to food which helps to preserve its structure. Typical uses include preventing oil/water emulsions from separating in products such as salad dressing etc. The following hydrocolloids are the most common ones used as stabilizers: alginate, agar, carrageen, cellulose, gaur gum, gum Arabic, locust bean gum, pectin, starch, xanthan gum.

Gums and Stabilizers for the Food Industry is a biennial conference (see the official website) held in Wrexham, North Wales, since 1981, on the application of hydrocolloids (polysaccharides and proteins) in the food industry. Presentations at the conference cover recent advances in the structure, function and applications of gums and stabilizers, how these materials are used in industrial processes, and also educational material on the subject. The main reason for adding a gum or hydrocolloid to a food product is to improve its overall quality. India is the largest producer of gums specially guar gum products. Hydrocolloids have many functions in food products—flow control, cling, freeze-thaw stability, emulsion stabilization, crystal control, adhesion and binding water to control syneresis.


Ongoing demand from the oil and gas industry has turned guar into something of a wild card. As overall demand for guar gum rose from 250,000 metric tons per year to 480,000 metric tons per year (350,000 metric tons for the energy industry alone) over the past 24 months.

 The Asia-Pacific region is estimated to be the fastest growing market for food stabilizer systems from 2013 to 2018. The demand for stabilizer blends in the emerging Asia-Pacific countries such as India and China drives the market with the increasing F&B manufacturers in the region. The stabilizer blends market value is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2013 to 2018. The market was dominated by Europe. The industry expects the 2014 guar gum exports to be around 5.5-6 lakh tone due to the revived demand from the food sector and the growing usage of the commodity in the oil drilling sector. India is a leading exporter of guar gum and it commands about 80% of global production.



The complete book on gums and stabilizers for food industry describes detailed information on the subject. The major contents of this book are – functions of gum, rheology and characters of gum, natural products exudates, plant seed gums, pectin’s, larch gum, seaweed extracts, microbial gums, gelatin, cellulose gums, synthetic hydrocolloids, analysis of hydrocolloids etc.

In order to get “The Complete Book on Gums and Stabilizers for Food Industry” please visit-

Source: NPCS Team

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