Guar gum and xanthan gum are ground powders that are used in a variety of products.
Guar gum comes from seed of the guar bean, while xanthan gum comes from the fermenting sugars with xanthomonas campestris, a bacteria that can normally cause diseases and spoilage in fruits and vegetables.
Guar gum was first utilized during World War II because of a shortage of locust bean gum, while xanthan gum was developed in an American lab in the 1950s.
Xanthan gum and guar gum are a common emulsifier in ice cream and salad dressing, and occasionally other liquids. They also help waterproof ice cream, preventing ice crystals, and are used as a preservative in other foods.
Guar gum is used in other products such as toothpaste and explosives when a product for similar purposes as its uses in food. Xanthan gum is not as common, but it can be found in helping drill bits operate.
Studies have shown guar gum can help lower cholesterol and diabetes. Large doses of xanthan or guar gum on their own can cause diarrhea, but in lower doses can help natural colon cleansing similar to fiber.