Guar also known as cluster bean, is an annual legume crop that provide a natural source of hydrocolloid(substance that forms thick solution at low concentration with water). Guar plant is rough to touch, bushy plant and has the ability to dwell even in the drought like conditions. Its scientific name is Cyamopsis tetragonoloba. Guar flowers are purple to pink in color, approximately 8 mm long, and form in auxillary racemes. Guar is basically a crop that is cultivated mostly in arid and semi-arid areas as it is drought resistant. Guar beans have a large endosperm that contains galactomannon gum, a substance which forms a gel in water. This is commonly known as Guargum.
Guar seed’s are sown in the months of July and August right after the first showers of monsoon and harvested in the months of October and November.
Types of Guarseed:
Pusa Sadabahar is a single stem variety which is suitable for rainy as well as summer season. Pusa Mausami is a branched variety which is good for rainy season only.
India is the major producer of guarseed in the world. India contributes nearly 80 percent of world’s total guarseed production. Guar has been cultivated in India and Pakistan for ages for use of its tender pods as fresh vegetables and other parts of the plant to be used as cattle feed. World total production is around of 7 lakh tons. Guar is also known to be cultivated in Texas, USA, some parts of South Africa, Malawi etc., but not in very large commercial quantities. Guar was introduced in to the United States in 1903 by India. In India, major producing states of guarseed are Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also produces guar seed, but the output is low in these states. . Rajashthan contributes over 70 percent of India’s total production. Haryana and Gujarat place themselves at the second and third position sharing approximately 12% and 11% respectively.
Guar Gum :
Guar gum, also called guaran, is a galactomannan. It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. 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.
- Textile industry – sizing, finishing and printing
- Paper industry – improved sheet formation, folding and denser surface for printing
- Explosives industry – as waterproofing agent mixed with ammonium nitrate, nitroglycerin, etc.
- Pharmaceutical industry – as binder or as disintegrator in tablets; main ingredient in some bulk-forming laxatives
- Cosmetics and toiletries industries – thickener in toothpastes, conditioner in shampoos (usually in a chemically modified version)
- Oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing Mining
- Hydroseeding – formation of seed-bearing “guar tack
- Medical institutions, especially nursing homes – used to thicken liquids and foods for patients with dysphagia
- Fire retardant industry – as a thickener in Phos-Chek