Tara Gum - TARA-G
INS 417; CAS No. 39300-88-4; EINECS No. 254-409-6

Tara gum (TARA-G) (INS 417) is also known by the synonyms peruvian carob, Tara-Kern-Mehl etc.

Tara gum is a galactomannan & is a plant reserve carbohydrate like starch, isolated from the endosperm of the seeds of the tara tree, Caesalpinia spinosa L.

The molecular weight of tara gum ranges widely from 106 to 2.33x106 g/mol & is determined using a capillary viscometer.

Tara gum is a high-viscosity polysaccharide composed mainly of a linear chain of (1-4)-β-D-mannopyranose (mannose) units with α-D-galactopyranose (galactose) units attached by (1-6) linkages.

Tara Gum

Tara Gum

The ratio of galactose to mannose in tara gum is 1:3. Other gums that have different ratios of galactose & mannose units are shown below for purpose of distinguishing.
Name of gum Number of galactose units Number of mannose units
Locust Bean Gum 1 4
Tara Gum 1 3
Guar Gum 1 2
Fenugreek gum 1 1
Tagua Nut or Ivory nut mannan 0 1
Tara Gum


Mostly, tara gum consists of 75–78% galactomannan, 14–15% moisture, 2.5% acid insoluble fibres, 3–4% nitrogen compounds, 1.5% minerals (as Ash) and 1% ether soluble fatty compounds. The proteinaceous fraction approximately contains the amino acids: 13.4% aspartic acid, 13.3% glutamic acid & 8.8% glycine.

Structural formula showing mannopyranose & galactopyranose units

Tara gum (TARA-G) is a colorless to white-yellow odourless powder & it forms colloidal solutions in water. It is insoluble in ethanol.

A 1% aqueous dispersion of tara gum has a viscosity of 2000–3600 cps & remains unaffected between pH 3.0 & 7.5.

TARA-G imparts synergistic gel-strength & has enhancing effects when combined with carrageenan, xanthan or agar.

Tara Gum
Tara Gum


Tara Gum


Applications of Tara Gum (TARA-G)

Tara Gum has been used extensively in food, pharmaceutical, biomedicine as it is non-toxic, biocompatible, biodegradable & inexpensive.

  • In the food industry it is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and gelling agent.
  • In pharmaceutical industry tara gum is used in formulating systems involving gastroprotective polymers, buccal mucoadhesive systems & sustained-release tablets.
  • Tara gum has been used to microencapsulate active principles of food & pharmaceuticals (like Vitamin D3), providing protection against environmental factors & processing stresses.
  • The capability of tara gums’ water-retention provides moisture, soft texture & freshness to baked products like buns, bread, cakes, gluten-free baked items etc. for a longer period of time.
  • As tara gum prevents formation of ice crystals in frozen products such as sorbets, ice-creams & desserts.
  • There is extensive use of tara gum in baby food products, low-calorie as well as non-fat foodstuffs & provides a cost efficacious substitute for guar gum.
  • Tara gum or its derivatives haves been used as super absorbent polymers which are used for agricultural, gardening purposes as well as making diapers.
  • Due the super absorbency of the tara gum & its derivatives, they have the capability to absorb, bind & retain large amounts of water. Thus, they can be used in rainwater harvesting methods, preserve water in dry climates & desert regions.
Tara Gum

Baby Food Products

Tara Gum

Rainwater Harvesting