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. Guar gum comes from the endosperm of the seed of the legume plant Cyamopsis tetragonoloba; an annual plant, grown in dry regions of India as a food crop for animals. The guar bean is principally grown in India and Pakistan, with smaller crops grown in the U.S., Australia, China, and Africa. The drought-resistant guar bean can be eaten as a green bean, fed to cattle, or used in green manure. For hundreds of years Guar has been used as vegetable in India. Guar is a rain-fed crop, sown in July-August and harvested in October-November. Being a leguminous crop, guar fixes nitrogen, making the soil fertile.
The growing season of guar is 14 -16 weeks and requires reasonably warm weather and moderate flashing rainfall with plenty of sunshine. Too much rain can cause the plant to become more ‘leafy’ thereby reducing the number of pods or the number of seeds per pod which affects the size and yield of seeds. The crop is generally sown after the monsoon rainfall in the second half of July to early August and is harvested in late October early November. The Guar is a naturally rain fed crop. Depending on the monsoon rainfall the total size of Guar crop varies from year to year.
The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, pale, off-white colored, coarse to fine ground powder. Guar Gum (Galactomannan) is a high molecular weight carbohydrate polymer made up of a large number of mannose and galactose unit linked together. The crude Guar Gum is a greyish white powder, 90% of which dissolves in water. It is a non-ionic polysaccharide based on the milled endosperm of the guar bean (leguminous seed cyamposis tetragonalobus). The guar gum is produced from endosperm and consists mainly of gummy Polly groups of monogalactoses with small amount of fibre and minerals.
Several methods have been used for the manufacture of different grades of guar gum but due to its complex nature, the thermo mechanical process is generally used for the manufacture of edible grade and industrial grade guar gum.
Guar meal is the by-product of Guar Gum, consisting of outer seed coat and germ material. After gum extraction, it is a potential source of protein and contains about 42% crude protein. The protein content in guar meal is well comparable with that of oil cakes.
The consumption pattern of guar seeds is largely influenced by the demands from the petroleum industry. India accounts for 90 per cent of the world’s guar produce, of which 72 per cent comes from Rajasthan.
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. It is used in food, paper and textile industries. But most of the demand for the gum is due to the expansion of the shale gas and oil industries. Ninety per cent of the export is used to extract oil and shale gas, a natural gas trapped in shale formations. Guar Gum either modified or unmodified, is a very versatile and efficient bio-polymer covering a wide range of industrial applications such as: Oil drilling, Textile printing, Human food and Pet Food, Paper, Explosive, Water Treatment, etc. etc. where its binding, thickening film forming and lubricating factors are of great interest.
Areas of Cultivation:
The main areas of cultivation of Guargum in India are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana , Punjab , Uttar Pradesh , Madhya Pradesh , Tamil Nadu , Maharashtra , Karnataka , Andhra Pradesh.
India Facts and Figures :
India is the major exporter of guargum to the world; it exports various forms of Guar products to a large number of countries. The country has exported 3,81,880.16 MT of guargum to the world for the worth of Rs. 3,261.60 crores/456.96 USD Millions during the year 2019-20.
Major Export Destinations (2019-20) : U S A, Russia, Norway, Germany, China P Rp.