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Locust Bean Gum: Application & Recommendations

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 321 views

Locust bean gum , or carubene flour, comes from the ground seeds of the locust bean tree. It is soluble in hot water and swells in cold. It is therefore used in the food industry as a gelling agent and stabilizer. It appears under the designation E 410 in lists of ingredients. Here you can read interesting facts about the additive locust bean gum.

Locust bean gum – what is it?

Locust bean gum is a natural additive. More precisely: A plant-based multiple sugar (carbohydrate) composed of the simple sugars mannose and galactose. It is extracted from the seeds of the carob fruit by heat and grinding. As an additive, it is known as E410.

Each pod of the tree, which grows in the Mediterranean and Near East, contains around five to eight of the small black seeds. The seeds of the carob tree contain many long-chain carbohydrates that bind large amounts of water. In cold water , locust bean gum therefore develops enormous swelling properties and turns from a powder into a gelatinous mass. It dissolves completely in hot water.

Where is locust bean gum used?

Due to its good swelling properties, a small amount of E 410 is enough to turn liquids into a gel-like substance. It is not very sensitive to heat, salt and acid. This is why the additive is used in the food industry, among other things, as a binding and thickening agent.

The swelling properties also ensure that turbidity is kept in suspension. This keeps lemonades clear, for example. The additive also prevents bread from getting old.

Locust bean gum is generally approved for food, including organic products and baby food. Completely untreated and artificially dried products that are supposed to swell when eaten are excluded. It is free of cholesterol , gluten and lactose.

Since locust bean gum is indigestible and is not broken down by the digestive enzymes, it is suitable for diabetics and diet foods.

There is no maximum limit, the quantum satis principle is applied. This means that as much E 410 can be used as is absolutely necessary for the desired effect.

It is often included in the following products:

  • jams
  • jams
  • Read
  • Pudding
  • Mousse
  • pasteten
  • Canned fruit and vegetables (especially canned chestnuts)
  • Baked goods, baking aid for gluten-free bread
  • salad dressings
  • ice cream
  • milk mix drinks
  • Food for diabetics

Locust bean gum is also used in the cosmetics industry as a stabilizer, as it prevents emulsions from separating and crystal formation.

How does locust bean gum work?

Locust bean gum has the following properties in the body:

  • lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels
  • has a slightly laxative effect
  • has a certain swelling capacity in the intestine

Locust bean gum – is it dangerous?

In principle, E 410 is considered harmless, it is approved as a food additive without restrictions.

However, it is suspected of triggering allergies. Cross-reactions sometimes occur, especially in the case of soy allergy sufferers. It also decreases the digestion of protein .

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