Guar gum is the powdered endosperm of the seeds of the Cyamopsis tetragonolobus which is a leguminous crop. The endosperm contains a complex polysaccharide called galactomannan, which is a polymer of d-galactose and d-mannose. This hydroxyl group rich polymer when added to water forms hydrogen bonding imparting significant viscosity and thickening to the solution. Due to its thickening, emulsifying, binding and gelling properties, quick solubility in cold water, wide pH stability, film forming ability and biodegradability, it finds applications in large number of industries. In last few decades a lot of research has been done on guar gum to fit it into particular application, as such or by its structural modifications. This review gives an overview of the nature, chemistry and properties of guar gum and discusses recent developments in its modifications and applications in major industries like hydraulic fracturing, explosives, food, agriculture, textile, paper, cosmetics, bioremediation, drug delivery, medical and pharmaceuticals. This article would help researchers engaged in biopolymer area and other end-users who want to begin research in natural polysaccharides.
Keywords: Agriculture; Cluster bean; Food; Galactomannan; Polysaccharide.
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