Gum is a frightening word that can be seen on the labels of many foods. What is it, how does this substance affect the body, and is it safe to eat foods that contain this gum?
What is gum?
In fact, what is gum, probably, everyone who reads this text is known from an early age. Do not believe? Well, have you really never plucked amber tar drops from a cherry tree trunk? And this is the same gum, hidden by an unknown word in the list of ingredients of products from the supermarket.
Chemists call this wood resin flowing in places of damage to the bark a high molecular weight carbohydrate and a polymer of fiber, and industrial workers widely use it to create different products. From the point of view of chemistry, gum can be defined as “soft fiber”, and in its composition – to find galactose, glucuronic acid and other useful substances.
Gum is contained not only in the trunk of a plant, it is found in leaves, small branches, roots and even fruits of trees, but “breaks out” only in places of mechanical damage. Initially, this substance is a liquid sticky substance, but hardens under the influence of the environment, acquires a more saturated color. However, if necessary, it is easy to dissolve in water.
Traditionally, wood resin is collected in dry weather in summer or early autumn. But besides the gum in its pure form, there is gum stone resin. This type has poor solubility, but because of this it is used in different liquids.
Impact on the body: the benefits and harm
Like traditional fiber, gum cleanses the body of toxins and slags, improves the functioning of the digestive organs, and increases the ability of the intestinal walls to absorb beneficial elements.
Once in the human body, wood tar is not absorbed by the intestines. Mixing with liquids, it turns into a gel-like substance. Due to this, for some time can “muffle” the appetite. In addition, it is believed that this substance can affect the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the blood, reducing their concentration.
Although gum is not a dangerous substance for humans, excessive consumption can cause nausea, stomach cramps, and cause symptoms of overeating.
Why is it necessary?
Regular consumption of acacia gum, according to some researchers, has a beneficial effect on the work of the entire digestive tract. This substance contributes to the proper absorption of nutrients from food, prevents constipation and obesity. It is also beneficial for the heart, serves as a prophylactic against diabetes.
But it is worth knowing that over-enthusiasm for wood tar can interfere with the absorption of nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Wood resin! How old are you?
As soon as it comes to the daily rate of gum, disputes among scientists immediately begin. They still can not decide on the final figures. But while researchers lead discussions, practicing nutritionists suggest determining daily doses of a substance individually.
Table of recommended daily doses of gum
|Age||The need for gum (g)|
According to another theory, the daily need is calculated based on the weight of the person. Whatever it was, the table shows the average statistical indicators of the daily norm of the substance for different age groups.
Pregnant women and people with impaired metabolism can consume a little more than usual. But for older people with dysbacteriosis, inflammation of the digestive tract and flatulence wood resin should be used very carefully.
How to determine the concentration of a substance in the body
When it comes to the concentration of micro-, macro- or other important elements in the blood formula, only laboratory technicians can determine the exact figures after a thorough study of the provided “material”. In the meantime, microbiologists will study the composition of your blood, it would be nice to pay attention to the state of health. As a rule, gum deficiency is diagnosed in people with impaired bowel function, hemorrhoids, food poisoning, problem skin, weakened immune systems and chronic fatigue.
Noticed that recently appeared flatulence, colic, signs of lack of calcium (deteriorated condition of the teeth, nails, hair) and the symptoms of beriberi? These signals can talk about the other extreme – the body is experiencing a gum oversupply.
Types of gum
Depending on the “raw materials” from which the gum is produced, this substance is usually classified into:
- acacia gums;
- from algae and mosses;
- gum seeds.
Homeland acacia gum – warm countries in Africa and the Mediterranean. The color scheme of this wood resin is determined by yellow or red shades. Some of these species instead of traditionally dissolved in water, absorb it and turn into a substance resembling gelatin. Typically, substances from acacia, falling into the hands of pharmacists, are transformed into cough medicine.
Closer to us cherry gum is used in light industry. In particular, products made of straw are joined and fixed by this very substance.
But despite the fairly wide range of gums, the most popular to use are guar, xanthan and carob.
The source of this substance are guar beans. In the food industry, it is indicated by the E412 index and is used to preserve the structure of the finished product during freezing and thawing. Lacking taste and being a low-calorie substance, it is used in a variety of foods. When creating ice cream, gum prevents the formation of ice crystals, adds volume to cheeses, improves the taste of bakery products, and gives mincemeat plasticity and a uniform consistency. Е412 is also able to prolong the “life” of some products.
In addition to food, gum can be seen in the composition of many bioactive additives. In them, the guar substance plays the role of a component that removes toxins and reduces the concentration of “bad” cholesterol. It also has a sparing laxative effect and helps fight excessive appetite, prevents atherosclerosis. Due to these properties, it is part of slimming products. However, it is not necessary to get too carried away with the substance from guar beans – it can cause diarrhea and stomach discomfort.
Properties of guar gum:
- easily soluble in water;
- viscosity gives liquid food;
- reduces the concentration of cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins;
- removes toxins from the body;
- normalizes intestinal microflora;
- “Starts” the work of the digestive system.
- anti-diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity;
- thickener in creams, gels, shampoos, masks;
- component in the production of pastries, cheeses, sausages, yoghurts, puddings, various sauces and jams;
- means used in the paper industry, textile, oil, coal.
Overdose of guar gum can cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and allergies.
Known as E415, it belongs to the stabilizers. It is used in food production since 1968, it plays the same role as guar gum, but the source of this substance is different. Xanthan gum is a fermented vital product of the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris.
This type of gum is considered a strong thickener, which shows its abilities in a cold and hot environment. Unaffected by enzymes, acids or alkalis. In the food industry it is used to thicken creams, foams, emulsions.
In addition, xanthan gum is able to retain moisture. This property of wood resin was noticed by cosmetologists and added an extract of a natural substance to moisturizing creams, lotions and other cosmetics.
Locust bean gum
This substance, created from the pods of Mediterranean acacia, in the food industry received a second name – Е410. By its chemical composition, some measure resembles guar gum. Typically, this component can be seen on the labels of products that artificially added pomp and slightly extended shelf life. Most often it is a variety of pastries and processed cheese.
Food supplement Е410 is a yellowish, odorless powder. The substance does not lose its properties in an acidic or salty environment, and also does not undergo splitting under the influence of high temperatures. It has a high degree of viscosity, and can only melt completely in boiling water.
In products prevents the formation of crystals when cooled, retains their gel-like structure. In the digestive tract is not fermented and excreted almost intact. It is considered a safe substance, is part of some infant formula. A safe dose is considered a concentration from 0,1 to 1 percent of the total weight of the product.
Drops of gum appear on the bark of the apricot trees. In its composition almost half is occupied by galactose, a little less – arabinose. Also there is glucuronic acid and protein substances.
Apricot gum after assembly must be dried (pre-laid on paper) in a dry, well-ventilated area. Usually for such purposes suitable loft. The dry resin is used as a coating agent. Use in diluted form (it should be not very concentrated aqueous solution).
Use in industry
It is not known who and when he first noticed the gelling properties of gum and thought of using it for cooking. But today this substance as a natural thickener and stabilizer is actively used in products that lack viscosity for aesthetics.
Gums are also used as a component for adhesives and viscous solutions, in the pulp and paper and textile industries, as well as in cosmetology and medicine.
Products containing gum
Wood gum is not the only source of gum. This substance is in many products. Among the most concentrated:
- fruits, berries: pears, apples, oranges, blueberries, dried fruits;
- vegetables: celery, zucchini, carrots, pumpkin, beets;
- cereals, nuts, seeds: oatmeal, barley, walnuts;
Dreaming to lose weight, many resort to “hungry” diets, “chemistry”, forcing themselves to engage in the hall to the seventh sweat. In search of a tool that will allow you to throw a couple extra pounds, they completely forget about natural products. And many of them are not just effective for losing weight – they have a range of beneficial effects on the body.
And one of these natural substances is resin, which we so often saw on trees in a garden or in a forest. Gum can be called a universal remedy for a comprehensive improvement of health. Wood resin and from excessive appetite relieve, and help to lose weight, and in addition to clear the vessels and protect against diabetes. Well, why not a miracle potion? And it is not necessary to go far away. Everything here at hand.