The food industry today cannot be imagined without additives. They help to extend the shelf life of products, enhance their taste and smell, change the texture, and much more. One of the popular additives is locust bean gum, a substance needed to thicken various types of liquids.
Where does locust bean gum come from
This substance is obtained from the fruits of the Mediterranean acacia, which is also called the carob tree. The plant has dense leaves, small flowers and a wide crown, and can reach a height of 10 meters. The fruits of the tree are brown beans, 20-25 cm long, containing not only seeds, but also juicy, slightly sweetish pulp. The main component, gum, which is a high molecular weight carbon, is drawn out of the juice secreted by the beans.
The carob tree grows in Spain, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and other Mediterranean countries.
Chemical properties and applications
Locust bean gum, called additive E410, is a polymer that consists of molecules presented as residues of simple and complex monosaccharides. Outwardly, this stabilizer is a yellowish-white powder. It is practically odorless and perfectly retains its properties when heated, as well as in salty and acidic environments. Locust bean gum is highly viscous and dissolves exclusively in water at a temperature of 85 ° C.
The main property of the E410 additive is to jelly various types of liquid. When it cools, the formation of ice crystals is slowed down and thus a structured gel is created. That is why locust bean gum is often used in the production of processed cheeses, ice cream and other dairy products, which are not only tastier, but also retain their shape well. In addition, this stabilizer is used for the production of bakery products, sauces and frozen desserts, for canning mushrooms, vegetables and fish.
The advantage of the food additive E410 in food production is the ability of the compound to affect other chemicals.
The effect of locust bean gum on the body
E410 additive belongs to substances of natural origin. It is not broken down in the body and excreted from it in an unprocessed form. It is believed that it is completely safe for humans, therefore its use in the food industry is permitted in many countries, including Russia. It can even be used in the production of baby food.
However, locust bean gum can harm the health of those people who suffer from an individual intolerance to this stabilizer. In addition, without health consequences, an adult can consume no more than 20 mg of gum per 1 kg of weight per day - this rate was established by doctors.