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Guar Gum (guaran)

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Guar gum is a hydrocolloid particularly useful for making thick pastes without forming a gel and for keeping water bound in a sauce or emulsion. Guar gum can be used for thickening cold and hot liquids, to make hot gels, light foams and as an emulsion stabilizer. Guar gum can be used for cottage cheese, sauces, soups and frozen desserts. Guar gum is also a good source of fiber with 80
% soluble dietary fiber on a dry weight basis.

Guar Gum Origin

Guar Gum powder

Guar gum is typically milled from the endosperm of the guar bean (left picture). The final powder is a type of carbohydrate called a galactomannan.

The beans are sourced from India and India continues to be a major supplier for the world's guar gum. Guar gum is used commercially primarily in food industry because it thickens in small amounts and is available for low prices.

Guar gum is also known as guaran.





Guar Gum Applications

Guar gum can be used for thickening cold and hot liquids, to make hot gels, light foams and as an emulsion stabilizer. For general thickening, you could use guar gum in place of xanthan gum or in combination with it, but xanthan gum works more quickly.

But, guar gum outshines xanthan in two other ways. First, guar gum in large concentrations develops more of a sticky texture than xanthan's distinctive and undesirable "snotty" texture. Second, guar gum strongly binds water, which means that it helps to prevent syneresis (the separation of liquid water out of a sauce or emulsion).

Guar gum is often used in ice creams to improve texture and in gluten-free baking to provide some of the structure that is lost when gluten is removed. Guar can be used to make dondurma, a traditional "chewy" Turkish ice cream.

In our recipe Oyster with Parsley Champagne we use guar gum in combination with xanthan gum to make a fluid of apple juice and olive oil.

Guar Gum to make a fluid - Modernist Cuisine Oyster with Parsley Champagne

Guar Gum Properties

Temperature: Disperses and hydrates in hot or cold water.

Texture/mouthfeel: Thick sticky paste, similar to locust bean gum, a close cousin.

Appearance: Opaque, not suitable for clear liquids.

Flavor release: Unknown. Some users of guar gum describe it as having an undesirable "bean-y" flavor, though this flavor appears to depend on the particular brand of guar gum being used.

Freeze / Thaw stable: Unknown

Syneresis (weeping): Not directly relevant, since guar gum does not form a gel, but it does help prevent syneresis in other products.

Interaction and Tolerance of Guar Gum

PH Tolerance: Viscosity decreases with lower pH, though guar will function in the 4-10 pH range.

Other Tolerances: We've seen some sources say guar does not tolerate alcohol well, but we haven't tested this.

Synergies with other ingredients: Has synergistic effects with locust bean gum and sodium alginate. May be synergistic with xanthan. Use together with Xanthan for thicker results (0.5% Guar Gum / 0.35% Xanthan Gum) in applications such as soups that do not require clear results.

How to Use Guar Gum

Concentration Range: For lightly thickening cold liquids that are not clear such as flavored milks, use 0.35% guar gum. Use together with Xanthan for thicker results (0.5% Guar Gum / 0.35% Xanthan Gum) in applications such as hot soups and coating sauces that do not require clear results. For hot gels such as a terrine that can be cut, use 0.2% Guar Gum with 0.4% Agar Agar. As an emulsion stabilizer for cold and hot applications use guar gum in the range 0.1-0.6%. To make a light foam with coarse bubbles such as a dairy-free milk shake use 0.15% guar gum with 0.25% xanthan gum.

Dispersion: Like xanthan gum, guar gum disperses readily into both cold and hot water. To avoid clumps, add the gum to a small amount of cold water and form a slurry as you would with cord starch. If you are having trouble with clumps or the mixture becomes to thick, you can add some sugar or alcohol to help the guar gum disperse.

Hydration: Guar gum will hydrate in cold water, but expect the viscosity to increase over the course of several hours. Hot water accelerates hydration, much like xanthan gum. Several companies make versions of fast-hydrating or pre-hydrated guar gum that will reduce hydration times.


Back to Modernist Cuisine Ingredients: Hydrocolloids, Starches & more

  • Lizzie Bee

    HI, what proportions and what ratio/% of hydrocolloids would you recommend using for ice cream and sorbet mixes? Thanks,

    • Pankaj Maheshwari

      For Ice Cream you need to use guar gum 35% + Xanthan Gum 5% + Carrageenan (Iota) 8% and 52% GMS. The dosage should be between 0.25% to 0.35% (depends on texture & viscosity required). This is complete stabilizer & emulsifier blend.

      For Sorbet: (if milk fat/milk is not used): CMC alone can be used. Because it is transparent. Pectin can also be used. The dosage may be 0.25%-0.40%
      For Sorbet:(if milk fat/milk is used): Guar Gum 60%, Carrageenan 3%,Dextrose 20% & Xanthan Gum 17%. Dosage: 0.25% will be good enough. May be increased as per requirement.

      • Lizzie Bee

        Thanks very much for that. Sorry to ask – but what is CMC and GMS – I’m new to MG so still learning the various components!

        • Pankaj Maheshwari

          Thanks for reply,

          CMC is : Carboxymethylcellulose

          GMS : Glyceryl Monostearate (MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACID) (EEC: 471)
          hope this will be helpful to you, if you further have question feel free to contact at

        • QuantumChef

          GMS is called Glycerin Flakes in our store. I know, very confusing!

      • Sean Clarke

        This is very useful, thanks.

        Could you tell me if these ratios are base on volume or weight?

        I’m trying to create ice pop recipes that are not too icy and I’m doing everything in grams (I really dislike volume measurements – I mean how do you accurately measure 3 cups of watermelon?).


  • Thiyagarajan

    How much % of gaur gum used in sterlized flavour milk? and what time needs to apply?

  • Buttington

    How much for puddings or simliar with custard paste.

  • A.A.Almustafa

    i wont to make gel stable for a few months and stable to 90C

  • Green Land

    how to increase transparency of the guar gum liquid??

  • Chris

    So if I wanted to thicken a custard based ice cream, then what percentage guar gum could I add ?