Probably the oldest hydrocolloid applied in the early food industry in the Mediterranean region, it has unique properties in several applications, like ice creams, cream cheese, jelly products, sauces and dressings.
LBG is obtained from the seeds of locust bean plant (Ceratonia Siliqua) an evergreen tree spread from original Middle East to all over Mediterranean, in autumn the tree produces 10-20 cm pods each containing 10-15 seeds of carrob beans, which are the source of galactomannans, a type of polysaccharride from which is derived Locust Bean Gum.
Other galactomannans, alwayis derived from seeds plants are: Tara gum and Guar gum.
A tree of Ceratonia Siliqua produces its first fruits when is 5 years old, and only after other 10-15 years a tree can produce an interesting crop, however the yield is a lot depending on climate of the year, for example in the best condition a mature tree of 100 years can produce 100kg of seeds, while in a dry year the same tree can produce only 10-20 kg of seeds crop. These are some reason why the LBG prices can fluctuate year over year.
LBG is one of the most commonly used thickeners in food processing thanks to its unique low levels necessary to generate viscosity an mouthfeel, this gum will create a smooth and creamy textures and increased stability.
Locust Bean Gum is only soluble after heating to 80-90 C°, depending on time and shear. Viscosity at 1% goes from 1800 to 3600 cps.
It creates a synergism with Kappa Carrageenan and Xanthan Gum, generating a stronger gel than Carrageenan alone and is also beneficial for flexibility, elasticity and prevention of syneresis.