Locust Gum is a variant of Galactomannan extracted from the carob tree. The seeds of this plant are dried to make a powder to be known as the Locust Gum Powder. Its alias is carob gum. The Carob or Ceratonia siliqua is a shrub belonging to the class of legumes and Fabaceae family. It is one of the ornamental trees commonly grown in gardens and landscapes. Natively, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East are known to be the home of this species. Carob is also believed to replace the cocoa powder, hence is used as an alternate in chocolate bars and other healthy snacks. Besides being fit for human consumption, it is equally fit for consumption among pets.
Application in Food and Pet Food Industry
As per the guidelines issued by the European Commission, an evaluation of the safety of locust bean gum powder as food additives has been conducted and has been authorized under the E410 category. However, it has been in use since 1991 in weaning food, infant formula, and other medical purposes. The locust bean gum acts as a hydrocolloid, Hydrocolloid is a substance that keeps water molecules stick together. This cohesive property makes it useful in thickening and gelling process during food processing. Frequent application of this powder can be observed in salad dressing, making bread, sauces, meat products, etc. It can be advised to use in making candies because of its chewy nature.
The dairy industry has been tremendously exploited by every country in terms of frozen products. Because of freezing, there are chances that fat present in the milk or likewise product may get lost in the process. The freezing and thawing method have thus been incorporated to prevent any fat loss and maintain the texture, taste and overall integrity of the product. Locust bean gum powder has proved invaluable for performing the freeze-thaw mechanism. Not only this, but it also benefits the production by stabilizing the food by promoting non crystallization of sugar, thereby producing a light and low fat frozen products.
This thickening agent can also be used to make gels from the fruits. Locust bean gum is used in small quantities like 0.15 to 0.30% of the total mass.
Pet Food Industry
This industry chooses this gum powder as a binding agent for pet foods. The pet food industry has been blooming since world war II. Earlier there was awe for Canned foods for dogs that used to contain horse meat. However, biscuits too are available but sole biscuits can be enough for their survival. So the pet food also includes meat meals like damaged carcass, sausages, poultry, seafood, etc. Little amount of liquid ingredients along with salt, preservatives, stabilizers and gelling agent. Locust bean gum powder acts as a good binding agent which allows improved homogeneity and traps the moisture.
Locust bean gum powder has been thus used for years in food industries.
Altrafine Gums, a company which expertise in natural gums, has been fulfilling the demand for natural gums and derivatives for the last three decades. The company has domestic as well as international clientele and has been the brand for authenticity.