Tara Gum

What is tara gum?

Tara gum is a viscous soluble fiber extracted from the legume tree Caesalpinia spinosa, native to Peru [1,3]. It is an indigestible carbohydrate, a polysaccharide composed of galactose and mannose (galactomannan).

Tara Gum as a Food Additive

Tara gum is used as a thickener and stabilizer in dairy products (ice cream, cheese, cream, yogurt), tortillas, canned vegetables and legumes and other foods. It is not widely used in the United States, but it can be found in certain ice creams [5]. In the European Union, it is labeled as E number E417 [2]. It is also approved in Australia and New Zealand [4].

Tara Gum Safety and Side Effects

Tara gum is currently not listed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it has “Adequate Daily Intake (ADI) not specified” status by JECFA, which is the highest safety category [3]. Toxnet has reported no toxic effects related to tara gum [1].

Consumption of large amounts may result in abdominal bloating and excessive gas (flatulence).

Tara gum is vegan and gluten-free [4].

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