carob tree

Carob Gum

Also Known as Locust Bean Gum, LBG, or carubin


What is Carob Gum?

Carob gum is a very versatile hydrocolloid and natural dietary fiber that is extensively used as a thickening and gelling agent in dairy and bakery products, sauces, fruit fillings, soups, processed cheese, and many other processed foods. It helps provide: 

  • Texture
  • Viscosity 
  • Gelling 
  • Fiber

Origin

Locust bean gum is a natural polysaccharide extracted from the endosperm of the seeds of the carob tree Ceratonia siliqua found in Southern Europe and Northern Africa.1 It is a large polymer with a molecular weight of about 350,000 Da and consists of a linear chain backbone of β-D-1,4-linked mannose units. Some mannose units within the mannan backbone are attached to D-galactose units linked via α-(1→6) bonds. 

Carob gum, LBG, is similar in structure to guar gum, differing primarily in that locust bean gum has a lower galactose to mannose ratio (approx. 1:4).1,2

Function

Carob bean gum has a neutral taste, good texture, and improves the viscosity of many food systems.

LBG provides the following functionality and benefits:

  • Creamy texture in ice creams
  • Good syneresis control
  • Water binder (control of bake loss)
  • High viscosity in low doses (valuable in batter-based sweet goods)
  • Gelling power upon cooling (when hydrated and heated, and in synergy with other hydrocolloids)
  • Dietary fiber source to enhance nutritional value of bakery formulas

Hydrocolloid effects:

  • LBG + Water at room temperature → Thickening effect
  • LBG + Water + Heat → Gelling effect (74°C / 165°F)
  • LBG + Xanthan gum + Water a room temperature → Gelling effect
  • LBG + Carrageenan + Water a room temperature → Gelling effect

Commercial production

Once the carob fruits are harvested, they are dried and roasted. Next, the seeds are separated from the meat of the fruit. The seeds are skinned and then gently ground and sifted. This is to...


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