India is native of guar or cluster bean where it is used as a vegetable. Guargum is an extract of the guar bean, where it acts as a food and water store. About 90 per cent of guar gum processed in India is exported. There are various grades of Guar gums pure or derivative. Its ability to suspend solids, bind water by hydrogen bonding, control the viscosity of aqueous solutions, form strong tough films have accounted for its rapid growth and use in various industries.
Industrial application of guar gum includes the textile industry where guar gum’s excellent thickening properties are used for textile sizing, finishing and printing. In the paper industry Guar is used as an additive where It gives denser surface to the paper used in printing. And in the explosive industry guar is mixed in Ammonium Nitrate, Nitroglycerine and Oil explosives, where it helps maintain the explosive properties of the product even in wet conditions.
In the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, Guar Gum is used as an effective binder, stabilizer, dis-integrator and thickener. In bakeries, diaries and in production of meat and, dressings and sauces, Guar 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 stabilizer for preparing chocolate drinks and juices. Guar is also widely used in tobacco, leather, insecticides and pesticides, crayons, adhesives etc. Guar gum comes in different forms – from seeds to powder. Main types of Guar Gum include Guar Seed, Un-dehusked Split, Refined Split, Pulverized Guar Gum Powder, Guar Protein and Guar Meal.
When shale gas companies in the United States hiked their production six-fold in the last six years, it brought untold prosperity to farmers in India.