Locust Bean Gum
Carob bean gum
Locust bean gum is a polysacharide (a long chain made of sugars) made of
the sugars galactose and mannose.
Some other familiar polysacharides are starch and cellulose, which
are made of long chains of the sugar glucose.
In locust bean gum, the ratio
of mannose to galactose is higher than in
, giving it slightly different
properties, and allowing the two gums to interact synergistically
so that together they make a thicker gel than either one alone.
Locust bean gum is extracted from the endosperm of the seeds of
the carob tree Ceretonia siliqua
, which grows in Mediterranean
The ancient Egyptians used locust bean gum to bind the wrapping of
In more recent times is is used
as a thickener in salad dressings, cosmetics, sauces,
as an agent in ice cream that prevents ice crystals from forming,
and as a fat substitute.
In pastry fillings, it prevents "weeping" (syneresis
) of the
water in the filling, keeping the pastry crust crisp.
It has a very high viscosity (thickness) even when very little is
By Simon Quellen Field