Sources of Food Ingredients: Locust Bean Gum

Locust Bean Gum

  1. What is locust bean gum?

    Locust bean gum, also known as carob bean gum, comes from the carob seeds of the carob tree, grown in the Mediterranean. It is a hydrocolloid used in food as a thickener, stabilizer and emulsifier.

  2. How is locust bean gum made?

    Carob trees have pods that contain both seeds and pulp. The seed’s endosperm, the nutrient-rich tissue that surrounds the embryo within plant seeds, gets milled to locust bean powder.

  3. Why is locust bean gum in my food?

    Locust bean gum is used as a stabilizer, thickener, and fat replacer in foods, and also as an adjunct gelling agent and texturizer to other hydrocolloids such as carrageenan.

  4. What foods and beverages contain locust bean gum?

    Locust bean gum is often added to yogurt, cream cheese, dressings and sauces, ice cream, fruit preparations, fish products, fermented milk products, cream and infant formula. It is gluten-free and can also be used in foods to provide a chocolaty flavor.

  5. Is locust bean gum permitted for use in the U.S. and in other countries?

    Locust bean gum is considered Generally Recognized as Safe or GRAS in the United States.

    Locust bean gum is permitted as a food additive in the European Union in accordance with Annex II and Annex III to Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 on food additives. It is also used in other countries such as Australia and Japan.

  6. Can locust bean gum be used in foods marketed as organic, vegetarian, halal or kosher?

    Locust bean gum can be used in foods labelled organic in the United States. Locust bean gum is derived from plants and can be used in vegetarian products. Locust bean gum can be certified kosher and halal which can then be use in kosher and halal foods.

  7. How does locust bean gum benefit my health?

    Locust bean gum is an approved dietary fiber in the U.S.

  8. Why is locust bean gum necessary in foods and beverages?

    Locust bean gum acts as a thickening and stabilizing agent in food products. It’s gluten-free and can sometimes add a chocolatey flavor.

  9. How does the production and use of locust bean gum impact the environment?

    The trees that locust bean gum grows from aid soil and water conservation efforts and provide shade for farm animals.

  10. How does locust bean gum make food more affordable?

    Locust bean gum acts as a thickening and stabilizing agent, keeping the ingredients in food products together, extending their shelf-life and cutting down on food waste.

  11. Does locust bean gum contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

    No, locust bean gum is a food additive and is grown without GMOs.

  12. Is locust bean gum safe for children?

    Foods containing locust bean gum are safe for all population groups, including children and pregnant women.

  13. How long has locust bean gum bean used in food?

    Locust bean gum has been used in foods since 4000 B.C.