Locust Bean Gum Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Locust Bean Gum

Locust Bean
Locust Bean. Boris SV 

A natural food additive from a carob tree's seeds, the food industry uses locust bean gum as an ingredient in an array of food products, such as ice cream, yogurt and cream cheese, because the gum acts as a valuable stabilizing and thickening agent. The gum also offers a sweet, slightly chocolaty flavor, making the additive an easy inclusion in food products.

Other industries discovered locust bean gum's esteemed properties, and you will also find the gum in inedible merchandise such as cosmetics and beauty lotions, and in other products that need a thickener, such as in textiles and mining and paper-making compounds.

Although well known for its solidifying properties, the locust bean gum offers significant health benefits ranging from reducing cholesterol levels to improving blood sugar levels.

Native to the Mediterranean, almost three-quarters of the world’s locust bean gum comes from Spain, Morocco, Portugal, and Italy.

Nutrition Facts 

Locust Bean Gum Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100 g
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 332 
Calories from Fat 16.6 
Total Fat 0.5g1%
Saturated Fat 0.1g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0g0%
Sodium 125mg0%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 77g26%
Dietary Fiber 77g308%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 4.6g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 29% · Iron 0%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Carbs in Locust Bean Gum
One serving of locust bean gum contains about 26 percent of your daily recommended intake of carbohydrates, but is often found in foods also containing carbohydrates, such as pie fillings and condiments. To fill your diet with healthy carbohydrates, you should look at consuming other non-processed foods such as sweet potatoes, oats, bananas and berries, as well as eat foods with locust bean gum in moderation.

 

Fats in Locust Bean Gum
Locust bean gum contains little fat—only one percent of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The gum also contains no polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. However, foods using this additive often do contain a significant dose of fat. This makes reading labels essential to ensure that no more than five to six percent of your total daily caloric intake includes saturated fat, per the recommendations of the American Heart Association.

Protein in Locust Bean Gum
With 4.6 grams of protein per serving, locust bean gum doesn’t offer a substantial dose of the protein you need to eat each day. Rather, you should consume healthy proteins such as beans, eggs, legumes, seeds and at least eight ounces of cooked seafood per week, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Micronutrients in Locust Bean Gum
You don’t find many micronutrients in this gum except for calcium (29 percent) and dietary fiber (308 percent). A few grams of the gum contain approximately 10 percent of your daily fiber needs, which assists in keeping your digestive system healthy and your blood glucose levels from rising too fast.  

Health Benefits

As one of the most common additives in the world, the chances of you consuming locust bean gum on a regular basis remain quite high.

To your fortune, research shows the gum offers significant health benefits, some of which include the following: 

Reducing Cholesterol Levels
Locust bean gum could help lower cholesterol, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this study, 17 adults and 11 children of which 18 had high cholesterol and 10 had normal levels, were fed products each day without locust bean gum and food products with locust bean gum ranging from eight to 3 grams. This was done to assess the effect of the gum on their hypolipidemic levels. The group consuming locust beam gum experienced a decrease in their overall cholesterol level and their LDL cholesterol levels.

Plus, they reported no negative side effects. This result was found in both the adults and children. Researchers state that locust bean gum appears as an effective, safe approach to controlling cholesterol levels. 

Treating Diarrhea
Because of locust bean gum's pectin content, which is what allows the gum to form into a gel, this additive can aid in the treatment of diarrhea. Pectin has been used for years with kaolin, also known as the popular Kaopectate, for treating diarrhea. Research backs this. In a 2017 systemic review of 14 trials using 1,927 participants, carob bean juice was found as an effective, alternative medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in children and adolescents. No serious adverse effects were reported. However, researchers do note that more evidence is necessary as information on dosage form and efficacy is lacking. 

Improving Blood Sugar Levels
In a study involving lab rats and published in Phytotherapy Research, researchers fed animals a diet containing 15 percent of guar or carob gums (locust bean gum) for two to six consecutive weeks. They investigated the gum's effect on body weight, glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels. Results showed a decrease in both glucose and cholesterol levels. 

Common Questions 

What does a locust bean look like inside?
The locust bean contains a cloudy coloring, ranging from pale white to pale yellow. If you purchase locust bean gum in stores, you can find the additive in powder form with a transparent coloring. This transparency works well when incorporating the powder into your food as you won’t change the color of your dish.  

Is locust bean gum used alone in food products?
The gum is not often used by itself. Food technologists combine locust beam gum with Xanthan Gum and Kappa Carrageenan to form a gel and give foods certain desired qualities, such as an elastic texture or an ability to reduce crystals forming on frozen food products.  

Recipes and Preparation Tips 
As a thickening agent, you could use locust bean gum when making homemade ice cream, yogurt, pie, and other prepared foods. Ideas for cooking include the following:

  • If you like a fruit pie that doesn’t spill all over your oven, you can add 0.2 percent of locust bean gum to pastry fillings. This helps stabilize the fruit and avoid it from spilling into the pie crust. This helps keep the crust crispy and the pie's filling away from the bottom of your oven.   
  • If your homemade ice cream gets too many ice crystal formations on them, you can add locust bean gum to slow down and diminish the size of the crystals. This is especially helpful if you don't eat all the ice cream within a few days. 
  • For steady meringues, locust bean gum can stabilize foams.
  • If you want the perfect whipping cream dollop on top of a pie, the gum can stabilize dairy foam. 
  • Locust bean gum can make cheese dips more spreadable.

For the perfectionist cook, you might want to try testing your dish with locust bean gum before serving it to your guests. The gum contains a slight flavor that doesn't always blend as well as you'd hope. But because the gum's flavor is not strong, the other food in your dish can easily overpower the gum. 

Allergies and Interactions

If you experience any health issues when consuming products containing locust bean gum, you might have a food additive reaction. Such reactions often go undiagnosed as they occur in less than 0.25 percent of the population.

If you experience any of the following, you might want to consider scheduling an appointment with an allergist as these reactions could suggest a food allergy or sensitivity:

  • Hives
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Migraines
  • Irregular heartbeats, such as an arrhythmia or tachycardia

To diagnose a food additive reaction, you typically need an oral test with the alleged additive. This is done under the supervision of an allergist to avoid any severe complications. If you are diagnosed, your medical professional might suggest avoiding the additive altogether. 

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources