Tara Gum (E417) In Ice Cream – Side Effects (Allergy), Uses, Alternatives

Tara gum (TG) is a beige or white, nearly odorless powder that is produced by separating and grinding the endosperm of the Caesalpinia spinosa tree’s seeds.

This tree is usually found in the mountains of Peru, however, it is also cultivated in the Mediterranean region.

Uses of E417

The properties of TG are comparable to that of guar gum and carob beans, highly utilized in various countries.

It acts as a stabilizer, a thickener, a foaming, and an emulsifier agent. Plus, it is able to maintain all these attributes at a wide range of baking temperatures. For instance, TG can resist up to 145°C in a continuous process plant or 121°C for half an hour in batch sterilization.

Due to the fact that TG increases the retention of the fine fiber filled as well as improves printability, it is used as a retention agent in the paper industry. Also, it is used as an emulsifier in the toothpaste production.

The product can be found in the following foods and drinks:

  • dehydrated foods;
  • salad dressing;
  • canned meat manufacturing;
  • mustard pickles;
  • candies;
  • jellies;
  • jams;
  • mayonnaise;
  • mousses;
  • ice cream;
  • cocoa-based drinks;
  • sauces;
  • bread;
  • yogurt;
  • cheese;
  • fruit juices;
  • cakes.

Side Effects of Tara Gum

TG expands in the intestine and offers a feeling of satiety. But, when consumed in an excessive amount, it may cause intestinal blockage. Other side effects may include:

  • you may feel extremely uncomfortable;
  • intestinal distress;
  • increased gas production;
  • loose stools;
  • diarrhea.

Allergic Reactionss

After consuming foods or drinks which have TG, some people may have mild to severe allergic reaction symptoms within 5 to 60 minutes.

Signs and symptoms of allergic reactions may include:

  • skin rashes;
  • hives;
  • chest tightness;
  • coughing;
  • wheezing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • nasal congestion;
  • watery eyes;
  • a runny nose;
  • cramping;
  • diarrhea;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting.

In rare cases, the consumption of foods or drinks that have TG can cause anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no studies about the safe use of foods and drinks which have TG by pregnant or lactating women. Therefore, it is recommended to stay on the safe side and avoid it.

Alternatives

Guar Gum

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guargum.jpg

Guar gum is a guar seed extract, that contains approximately 80 percent galactomannan, 10 percent moisture, 10 percent protein, and trace amounts of ash and heavy metals.

For the production of guar gum, the beans are dehusked and grounded to form a fine powder. Currently, India is the largest producer of guar gum products.

Guar gum is used for treating irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as for preventing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and for reducing cholesterol levels.

Moreover, it is found in a variety of foods, including:

  • yogurt;
  • ice cream;
  • cheese;
  • soy cheeses;
  • soy bars;
  • salad dressings;
  • jams;
  • juices;
  • soups.

Xanthan Gum

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnjoh/4398034471

Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, meaning that it is a large molecule which has a few sugars or saccharides linked together. This chemical composition allows xanthan gum to trap steam and gases to form pockets, hence, creating a better rising product.

It acts as a stabilizer, a thickener, and an emulsifier. Another important attribute of xanthan gum is that only a small quantity is needed for getting the desired thickening.

This gum has a variety of food applications, such as:

  • fruity drinks;
  • salad dressing;
  • frozen foods;
  • dry mixes;
  • baked goods;
  • dairy products;
  • sauces;
  • syrups.

Chia SeedsChia Seeds

Chia seeds (scientific name – salvia hispanica) are native to Mexico. They are highly valued for their nutritional value and medicinal properties. Actually, chia seeds were even used as currency.

When mixed with water, the grounded chia seeds become a thick gel (they can absorb up to 12 times their own weight in water) which can be used in baking to help give structure to pastries and bread.

Psyllium Fiberd

Psyllium is a form of dietary fiber that is sourced from the husks of the psyllium (scientifical name – Plantago ovata) seed.

Over 70 percent of psyllium husk is soluble fiber. This is what allows psyllium to absorb water and thicken into a gel.

Consuming foods with psyllium fiber can help people to lose extra weight. For instance, eating a small amount of psyllium fiber managed to decrease the appetite, according to a recent study which was done by the University of Maryland.

Agar Agar

Agar agar is a gel-like substance which is derived from red algae. It is produced mainly in South America, Japan, and Mediterranean countries.

Agar agar is generally used to enhance the texture of recipes, such as – ice creams, puddings, gummies, jellies, sauces, and soups.

Moreover, it has mild laxative properties and is not recommended for people with loose stools or weak digestion.

Locust Bean Gum

Locust Bean gum, also referred to as carob bean gum, is made from the seed of the carob tree.

Carob bean gum is a water-binding, heat-shock resistant, and stabilizing agent. It slows and thickens the melting of ice cream and is used in speeding the coagulation of cheese curds.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002191509090021A
http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/31/037/31037745.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931889/
 

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