UNDERSTANDING LOCUST BEAN GUM
Locust bean gum, also, known as carob gum has various uses in food manufacturing and cooking because of its natural thickness. This gum is produced from carob tree seeds.
Locust bean gum is rich in essential healthy nutrients in the body. The gum can be in powder form, used in large scale food manufacturing. It has a chocolate taste and moderate sweetness. During application, small amounts are used to avoid interfering with the flavor of the products. The gum is said to aid in various health benefits including high fiber and assist reflux in children. Based on these benefits, many people desire to know more about locust bean gum to incorporate into their diets, and therefore this article discusses it in-depth.
Uses and origin
The carob tree seed extract produces locust bean gum. This tropical plant resembles cocoa that produces chocolate in different ways. The Locust gum is afine powder used in food manufacturing, where a small amount is added to other products to avoid affecting their taste. Further, it has a chocolate taste and is mildly sweet. The different parts of the carob tree, particularly, the fruits are utilized as alternatives for chocolate. This gum comprises indigestible fiber known as galactomannan polysaccharides with a chain-like, long molecular structure. Locust bean gum contains carbs in fiber form. Besides, it has sodium, calcium, and protein. The unique potential of this gumto change into a gel in thickened and liquid foods is caused by its polysaccharides. It is used in food manufacturing as a thickener, especially in organic or natural foods free from refined ingredients.
Is it vegan?
Irrespective of its confusing name, this gum is a vegan extract unrelated to locusts. It is gotten from carob tree seeds which are still called locust trees, since their pods are similar to the insect. This gum is essential for vegan foods and is ideal for plant-related thickener, which assists in adding stability and structure to a vegan pudding-like yogurt and non-dairy ice cream.
This is the gum’s nutritional content according to the USDA:1- mg sodium, 0g fat, 3 calories, 0.8g fiber, 0.8g carbs, 0g protein, and 0g sugars. A single gram of this gum has less than one gram of carbs, showing that carbohydrate is low, although it can be found in diets with high carbs like ice cream and pie fillings. The amount of fat in this gum is negligible. Nonetheless, diets utilizing this additive do not have a notable quantity of fat. The American Heart Association prescribes that saturated fats should not exceed 5-6% of the overall calorie consumption. Further, the quantity of protein in this additive is negligible. However, it contains some small quantities of calcium, approximately 3mg/gram, although few micro nutrients exist.
Rich in fiber
Every carbohydrate in this additive from fiber comes in galactomannan polysaccharides form. Soluble fiber supports human gut health. The long polysaccharide chains from this fiber permit the gum to change into the gel and become thicker. The fiber reduces constipation and softens the stool since the body does not absorb it and therefore changes into a gel in the digestive tract. Additionally, soluble fiber supports heart health because it binds dietary cholesterol, hindering its absorption into the bloodstream. Nonetheless, most foods use locust bean gum in small amounts, and thus the advantages of soluble fiber are limited by feeding on substances that have it.
Aids with reflux in children
Locust bean gum is utilized as an additive in children formulas for those experiencing reflux attributed to regular cycles of spitting. This product assists in thickening the formula and preventing backflow into the gut after getting into the stomach, which might lead to discomfort and reflux. Further, it delays gastric emptying or passing foods from the stomach to the intestines. Additionally, this lowers reflux and intestinal issues in babies. Many studies showed the advantages of formula having this product for infants experiencing reflux.
Lowers blood fat and sugar levels
Some research established that supplements of locust bean gum might assist in lowering blood fat and sugar levels because of their high fiber contents. A certain study investigated the impact of this gum in 11 children and 17 adults, where some had inherited, or familial, high cholesterol. The group of participants that consumed foods having 8 to 30 grams of this gum daily for 14 days encountered higher progress in cholesterol than those who did not. Additionally, other carob plant parts, especially its fruit,boost fat by lowering triglyceride and bad cholesterol or LDL levels. Further, it helps limit the body’s uptake of sugars and carbs in food, and reducing blood sugar levels. One research demonstrated that this gum made blood sugar amounts stable by delaying the movement of food via the intestines and stomach. Generally, more research is required to establish more concrete details and benefits of the locust bean gum.
Side effects and precautions
Locust bean gum is a friendly food additive; however, with a few side effects.Some might experience an allergy,while sometimes it manifests in breathing and asthmatic conditions which can be fatal. For those who have confirmed to get allergic reactions from this product, it would be best to completely avoid all carob tree products. Additionally, incorrect mixing of locust bean guns might cause health issues to some premature babies when they are fed with its thickened formula. This product shows numerable risks to healthy adults or children because it is indigestible. Ensure your healthcare provider is informed of any anomalies when partaking to the product.
Commercial products use locust bean gum because it is a plant-based, natural, vegan meal thickener. Moreover, it has multiple health benefits like reducing reflux in babies and improving blood sugar, fat, and fiber when incorporated into the formula. Nevertheless, more concrete research is required to establish more possible aids of this product. The locust bean gum is available online, and an individual can purchase it whenever required. This product is an excellent thickening compound in sauces, desserts, and soups. Allergic people should not use this gum because it might show negative effects and ensure the doctor is aware of your health before using this gum.