Family : Leguminoseae
The Guar bean or clusterbean is an annual legume grown principally in India and Pakistan, with smaller crops grown in the USA, Australia and Africa.
The most important growing area centres on Jodphur in Rajasthan, India.
Guar beans are drought-tolerant and can be eaten green like snap beans, fed to cattle or used as a green manure.
Guar beans have a large endosperm which contains galactomannan gum which forms a gel in water. This is commonly known as guar gum.
Guar gum is used in dairy products like ice cream and as a stabilizer in cheese and cold-meat processing, and can also be used in industrial applications such as the paper and textile industry, ore flotation or the manufacturing of explosives.
Guar gum has proven a useful substitute for locust bean gum.
The current demand for guar gum outstrips supply and guar beans are being introduced into new growing areas. At this moment about 40% of the world production of guar gum comes from India.