India is native to guar or cluster beans which are used as a vegetable. Guar gum is an extract of the guar bean, where it acts as a food and water store. Guar gum comes from the endosperm of the seed of the legume plant Cyamopsis tetragonoloba; an annual plant, grown in dry regions of India as a food crop for animals. The guar bean is principally grown in India and Pakistan, with smaller crops grown in the U.S., Australia, China, and Africa. The drought-resistant guar bean can be eaten as a green bean, fed to cattle, or used in green manure. For hundreds of years, Guar has been used as a vegetable in India. Guar is a rain-fed crop, sown in July-August and harvested in October-November. Being a leguminous crop, guar fixes nitrogen, making the soil fertile.

The growing season of guar is 14 -16 weeks and requires reasonably warm weather and moderate flashing rainfall with plenty of sunshine. Too much rain can cause the plant to become more 'leafy' thereby reducing the number of pods or the number of seeds per pod which affects the size and yield of seeds. The crop is generally sown after the monsoon rainfall in the second half of July to early August and is harvested in late October to early November. The Guar is a natural rain-fed crop. Depending on the monsoon rainfall the total size of the Guar crop varies from year to year.

The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, pale, off-white colored, coarse to fine ground powder. Guar gum (Galactomannan) is a high molecular weight carbohydrate polymer made up of a large number of mannose and galactose unit linked together. The crude Guar Gum is a greyish white powder, 90% of which dissolves in water. It is a non-ionic polysaccharide based on the milled endosperm of the guar bean (leguminous seed Cyamopsis Tetragonalobus). The guar gum is produced from the endosperm and consists mainly of gummy Polly groups of monogalactoses with a small amount of fiber and minerals.

Several methods have been used for the manufacture of different grades of guar gum but due to its complex nature, the thermo mechanical process is generally used for the manufacture of edible grade and industrial grade guar gum.

Guar meal is the by-product of Guar Gum, consisting of the outer seed coat and germ material. After gum extraction, it is a potential source of protein and contains about 42% crude protein. The protein content in guar meals is well comparable with that of oil cakes.
The consumption pattern of guar seeds is largely influenced by the demands of the petroleum industry. India accounts for 80 percent of the world’s guar produce, of which 72 percent comes from Rajasthan.

About 90 percent of guar gum processed in India is exported. There are various grades of Guar gums pure or derivative. Its ability to suspend solids, bind water by hydrogen bonding, control the viscosity of aqueous solutions, and form strong tough films have accounted for its rapid growth and use in various industries. It is used in food, paper and textile industries. But most of the demand for the gum is due to the expansion of the shale gas and oil industries. Around 90% of the export is used to extract oil and shale gas, a natural gas trapped in shale formations. Guar gum either modified or unmodified, is a very versatile and efficient bio-polymer covering a wide range of industrial applications such as Oil drilling, Textile printing, Human food and Pet Food, Paper, Explosive, Water Treatment, etc. where it is binding, thickening film-forming and lubricating factors are of great interest.
Areas of Cultivation:
The main areas of cultivation of Guar gum in India are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
India Facts and Figures :
India is the major exporter of Guar gum to the world; it exports various forms of Guar products to a large number of countries. The country has exported 406,513.53 MT of Guar gum to the world for the worth of Rs. 4,944.60 Crores/ 617.14 USD Millions during the year 2022-23.
Major Export Destinations (2022-23) :U.S.A, Germany, Russia, Norway and Netherland.