The Global guar gum exports continue to grow rapidly with the biggest importer being to the United States of America. Other major importers include Canada, Europe and other nations. In terms of production, the sub continent of India is the largest producer of the guar gum, contributing approximately 80% of the total world production. This is closely followed by Pakistan making approximately 15% of the total production.
Guar Gum Powder Processing
The guar seed has three important parts that contribute to making of the guar gum powder. These are the seed coat, the endosperm and the germ. The guar gum which is the prime and marketable processed product from the guar seed is derived from the endosperm. The polished endosperm is separated from the fibrous material to obtain the Guar splits. The refined splits are pulverized and treated in several stages to obtain the guar gum powder. The gum is further refined to make yellowish white powder.
Important Properties of Guar Gum
The properties of the guar gum powder that make it useful for various applications include;
- Good solubility in cold and hot water
- Film formation properties
- Has resistance to oils, greases and solvents
- It is a good thickening agent
- Water binding capacity
- High viscosity
- Ability to function at low temperatures
The commercially important end products of the guar gum powder include the hydroxyl alkylated guar gum, oxidized guar gum, acetates of guar gum, sulphated guar gum, cationic derivatives of guar gum, guar gum acrylamide and reticulated guar gum.
- Approximately 80% production is India hence good economies of scale
- The guar crop is drought tolerant, and sun loving hence suited to the semi arid growing conditions.
- Multiple functions and industrial uses of the guar gum powder
- Demand is always rising due to industrial use in the hydraulic fracturing process of oil shale gas production.
- By products , the guar meal korma has important uses in the animal feed industry
- 90 % of the product is exported to other countries mainly for the oil shale gas exploration; hence there is a ready market for the guar gum powder.
- Community level organizations have poor participation in the value chain; hence maximum benefits go to the traders, processors, speculators and exporters.
- Community processing systems are absent, and most processing done by private processors.
- The business has high involvement of speculators who control the trade.
- Producer income is low due to many intermediaries.
- No grading at the farm leaves producers at the mercies of buyers.
- Government subsidies to farm inputs will lead to reduced cost of production and more profits to the farmers.
- Establishment of farmer led processing facilities, packing, storage and transport systems leads to greater returns to the farmer.
- More uses are emerging for the guar gum powder, hence growing business opportunities.
- Presence of substitutes for the guar gum powder in the hydraulic fracturing process negatively affects the total sales of guar gum powder.
- Adverse climatic conditions affect the crop production and yields
- Poor farm gate prices may affect farmer s interest in farming the crop.
The guar gum supply chain remains stable and is set to continue growing as more and more industrial uses emerge.