The usage of the cassia gum as a food additive is described in the EC regulation Number 231/2012, which defines the specifications of food additives. The gum is the purified seed endosperm from the Cassia Tora plant and has less than 0.05 of Cassia Occidentalis. The chemical formula consists of a high molecular weight polysaccharides made up of mannopyranose and galactopyrannoseunits.
Manufacturing of the Cassia Gum
It is manufactured through a milling process, whereby the husks are removed from the seed and endosperm is washed to give a semi-finished product that is used as a feed additive. Further purification with isopropanol extraction results in a pure semi refined product that is used as the food additive.
Characterization of the Cassia Gum
- Physical properties
An analysis of the particle size distribution throughthe laser diffraction process showed that the cassia gum powder has at least 14.7% of the particles less than 50 micrometers in diameter and 2.8 % of particles less than 10 Micrometers in diameter.
- Stability and homogeneity
The determination of the stability of the gum is derived by establishing the ability to maintain the gel form, after being combined with the other gums. It has been noted that when the cassia gum is mixed with the other gums for optimum gelling, a stable gel is sustained even after long periods of storage. There are also no changes in the strength of the gel. In the manufacture of feed, it has been passed as an effective and safe gelling agent. The Gum is soluble in water and is distributed with water into the feedstuff.
Efficacy of the Cassia Gum
The efficacy of a product is the ability or the capacity to produce the desired effect, or the effectiveness in achieving the desired purpose.
As a gelling agent, it has been found that supplementing water with blends of cassia gum and carrageenan gums results in high gel strength of up to 1100g/cm 2 .The gelling strength values, syneresis and the PH values of canned pet food with cassia gum and carrageen were measured after storage for 12 weeks . The food showed no losses in the gel strength over a period of time.
As a thickener, tests have shown that the mixture of cassia with carrageen generates a greater viscosity then when carrageen is applied alone. This blend of cassia and carrageen produces a viscosity of approximately 900 mPa’s while, when the carrageenan is applied alone only gives a viscosity of 500 mPa’s
Emulsifier and Stabilizer
When 0.1 % cassia tora powder is added to water and oil mixture, and 0.5% commercial emulsifier, a stable emulsion resulted that lasted up to 12 hours. This did not happen when the mixture containing the 0.5% emulsifier alone was used.
The cassia gum is best used as a gelling agent when used together with other gelling agents such as the carrageenan and the Xanthan gum. It is also effective as a thickener when used with other gums like the carrageenan and the Xanthan gum. This research also showed that the cassia gum has good stabilizing effects of an emulsifier.