Locust (Carob) Bean Gum
What It Is
Locust Bean Gum (LBG) is a Natural food additive—a thickener—derived from the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua), prevalent in the region of the Mediterranean. The elongated pods of C. siliqua are coarsely ground, then separated as two fractions, pulp and seed. Locust bean gum, or LBG, is derived from the seed fraction. The pods can be roasted and ground into Carob Power, a common substitute for Cocoa.
Seeds first have their skins removed by acid treatment or by roasting and mechanical removal. Then the seeds are split and milled. The rugged yellowish endosperm portion is collected and fine-ground into “flour”. Product grades are determined by particle size, water viscosity, and powder color/purity.
Chemistry and Structure
The chemical structure of locust bean gum consists of linked sugar units—specifically two hexose sugars (sugars containing six carbon atoms), mannose and galactose, in a ratio of about 4 to 1. The mannose units are bonded linearly—end to end—with galactose units attached at the side. The LBG structure is immense, with a molecular weight of from fifty thousand to two million!
Locust Bean Gum by itself is an effective thickener and water binder, requiring heat for complete solution. Various viscosity ranges and particle sizes are available from ISI. Both food-grade and technical grade are produced. The differences are primarily in color and the presence of “black specks” in the powder. The solutions and gels are cloudy due to the presence of cellulose in standard LBG. “Clear” LBG can be made using alcohol precipitation to remove the cellulose component.
LBG exhibits notable synergies with certain other hydrocolloids such as Kappa Carrageenan and Xanthan Gum.
When combined with Kappa Carrageenan, LBG enhances the gel strength, increases elasticity of the gel, and reduces gel syneresis. Optimum synergy is obtained with about a 50/50 mix of the two gums.
When LBG is combined with Xanthan Gum, highly pseudoplastic “gels” are produced. Best comparison is the common commercial product known as “Green Slime”. When used at lower levels in sauces improved cling and suspension can be achieved.
Ice Cream: Water binder to control ice crystal formation and maintain smooth creamy texture. Normally used in a blend with emulsifiers and other gums such as Guar and Carrageenan.
Cream Cheese: Provides body and smooth texture. Often used with Xanthan Gum and/or Guar Gum.
Water Gel Desserts: Used with Kappa and Iota Carrageenan to produce vegetable-based gelatin-like desserts that do not require refrigeration. Can be used in either powder mixes or shelf-stable Ready to Eat products.
Cheese Spreads: LBG provides a creamy texture and controls syneresis while improving freeze-thaw stability.
Air Freshener Gels: LBG is often used in AFG’s along with Carrageenan to enhance gel properties, reduce syneresis, and improve freeze-thaw stability.
For assistance with this or any ISI Locust Bean Gum products, please contact our technical service representatives at 1-800-628-3166.
Fifty (50) lb., 3-ply poly-lined paper bags. Bulk Density: 55+/-5lb./ft3.
Re-certify specifications after 2 year. Store properly sealed in a cool, dry environment.
21 CFR – 184.1343. Locust Bean Gum is approved for general use in food products.
ISI warrants that our products are not misbranded or mislabeled at the time they are shipped from our plant or warehouse. Although our application recommendations are believed accurate at the time of printing, ISI cannot guarantee the suitability of our products for a given use. Further, we cannot warrant against possible infringement of third-party patents.
Kosher & Halal Certifications available