Gum is a frightening word that can be seen on the labels of many food products. What is it, how does this substance affect the body, and is it safe to eat foods containing this very gum?
What is gum?
In fact, what is gum, probably, everyone reading this text is known from an early age. Do not believe? Well, haven’t you ever torn amber resin drops from cherries? And this is the very 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 the plant, it is in the leaves, small branches, roots and even the fruits of trees, and “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.
Wood resin is traditionally harvested in dry weather in summer or early fall. But besides the pure gum, there is a gum stone resin. This variety has poor solubility, but due to this it is used in different liquids.
Effect on the body: benefits and harms
Like traditional fiber, gum cleanses the body of toxins and toxins, improves the functioning of the digestive organs, 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. Thanks to this, for some time it can "dampen" the appetite. In addition, it is believed that this substance is able to affect the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the blood, reducing their concentration.
Although gum is not a substance dangerous to humans, excessive consumption can cause nausea, stomach cramps, and symptoms of overeating.
Why is it needed?
Regular consumption of acacia resin, according to some researchers, has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the entire digestive tract. This substance promotes the proper absorption of nutrients from food, prevents constipation and obesity. It is also good for the heart and 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 norm of gum, disputes among scientists immediately begin. They still can not decide on the final numbers. But while researchers are having discussions, nutritionists practice suggesting that daily doses of the substance be determined individually.
|Age||The need for gum (g)|
|4-8 years old||25|
|9-13 years old||31|
|14-50 years old||38|
|51-70 years old||30|
|9-13 years old||25|
|14-50 years old||26|
|51-70 years old||21|
According to another theory, the daily requirement should be calculated based on the weight of the person. Be that as it may, the table shows the average statistics 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 elderly people with dysbiosis, inflammation of the digestive tract and flatulence, wood tar 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 assistants can determine the exact indicators 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 health. As a rule, gum deficiency is diagnosed in people with impaired bowel function, hemorrhoids, a tendency to food poisoning, problem skin, weakened immunity and chronic fatigue.
Have you noticed that recently flatulence, colic, signs of calcium deficiency (the condition of teeth, nails, hair worsened) and vitamin deficiency symptoms have appeared? These signals can speak of another extreme - the body is experiencing an excess of gum.
Types of gum
Depending on the "raw material" from which the gum is made, this substance is usually classified into:
- acacia gums;
- from algae and mosses;
- gum seeds.
The homeland of acacia gum is the warm countries of 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 dissolving in water, absorb it and turn into a substance resembling gelatin. Usually, substances from acacia, falling into the hands of pharmacists, turn into a cough medicine.
Closer gum closer to us is used in light industry. In particular, straw products are combined and secured with this substance.
But despite the fairly wide range of gums, the most popular in use are guar, xanthan and carob.
Guar beans are the source of this substance. In the food industry, it is denoted by the E412 index and is used to preserve the structure of the finished product during freezing and defrosting. Not having a taste and being a low-calorie substance, it is used in a variety of products. When creating ice cream, gum prevents the formation of ice crystals, gives cheeses volume, improves the taste of bakery products, and gives minced meat plasticity and a uniform consistency. E412 is also able to extend the "life" of some products.
In addition to food, gum can be seen in 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 gentle laxative effect and helps to combat excessive appetite, prevents atherosclerosis. Thanks to these properties, it is part of slimming drugs. However, you should not get too carried away with the substance from guar beans - it can cause diarrhea and discomfort in the stomach.
Properties of Guar Gum:
- easily soluble in water;
- liquid food gives viscosity;
- reduces the concentration of cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins;
- removes toxins from the body;
- normalizes intestinal microflora;
- "starts" the digestive system.
- drugs against diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity;
- thickener in creams, gels, shampoos, masks;
- component in the production of baked goods, cheeses, sausages, yoghurts, puddings, various sauces and jams;
- funds used in the paper industry, textile, oil, coal.
An overdose of guar gum can cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and allergies.
Known as E415, belongs to stabilizers. It has been used in food production since 1968, plays the same role as guar gum, but the source of this substance is different. Xanthan gum is a fermented waste product of the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris.
This type of gum is considered a strong thickener, which perfectly shows its abilities in cold and hot environments. Unaffected by enzymes, acids or alkalis. In the food industry it is used for thickening creams, foams, emulsions.
In addition, xanthan gum is able to retain moisture. This property of wood tar was noticed by cosmetologists and added an extract of a natural substance to moisturizing creams, lotions and other cosmetics.
This substance, created from the pods of Mediterranean acacias, in the food industry received a middle name - E410. In terms of its chemical composition, it resembles guar gum by some measure. Typically, this component can be seen on product labels, which artificially added puffiness and slightly extended shelf life. Most often it is a variety of pastries and processed cheeses.
Dietary supplement E410 is a yellowish powder, odorless. 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 be completely melted in boiling water.
In products prevents the formation of crystals upon cooling, preserves their gel-like structure. It is not fermented in the digestive tract and is excreted almost intact. It is considered a safe substance, part of some baby formulas. A safe dose is considered a concentration of from 0.1 to 1 percent of the total weight of the product.
Drops of gum also appear on the bark of apricot trees. In its composition, almost half is galactose, a little less - arabinose. There is also glucuronic acid and protein substances.
Apricot gum after assembly must be dried (previously laid out on paper) in a dry, well-ventilated area. Typically, an attic is suitable for such purposes. Dry resin is used as a coating preparation. Use in diluted form (should not get a very concentrated aqueous solution).
It is not known who and when 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.
Wood resin 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", force themselves to engage in the gym until the seventh sweat. In search of a remedy that will allow you to throw a couple of extra pounds, they completely forget about natural remedies. 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 the resin that we have so often seen on trees in the garden or in the forest. Gum can be called a universal medicine for the comprehensive improvement of well-being. Wood tar will relieve excess appetite and help to lose weight, and in addition to clean blood vessels and protect against diabetes. Well, what is not a miracle potion? And to distant lands do not need to go. Everything is here at hand.