Tofu cat litter has become the darling in many cat litters and has become the choice of more and more cat owners due to its safety, non-toxicity, low dust, flushable into the toilet, and convenient cleaning. When we choose tofu cat litter, we must often find that merchants advertise that their products use guar gum as an adhesive, which is safe and non-toxic, and there is no risk when cats eat a small amount by mistake. We can't help but ask: what is guar gum? What is the difference between using guar gum and using other gums? Is it true that the tofu cat litter using guar gum is not harmful to the cat? A litany of questions will pop into our minds. Today we are going to talk about the "guar gum".
What is guar gum
Guar gum is a galactomannan polysaccharide extracted from guar beans that has thickening and stabilizing properties. The appearance of guar gum is generally a white or light-yellow free-flowing powder, which can be dissolved in cold water or hot water. Guar gum is the most potent and water-soluble natural polymer known. Food-grade guar gum is generally used as a food thickener and is found in most processed foods: baked goods, cereals, beverages, dairy products, oils, sugars, jams, jellies, sauces, soups, juices, syrups, salad dressings, etc.
Guar gum is obtained by peeling and determinating the seeds of the guar bean, drying and crushing, adding water, carrying out pressure hydrolysis, precipitation with 20% ethanol, centrifuging, drying, and crushing. The guar bean is principally grown in India, Pakistan, the United States, Australia, and Africa. India produces about 2.5–3 million tons of guar annually, making it the largest producer, with about 65% of world production. In India, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Haryana are the main producing regions.
Is guar gum safe?
Guar gum is a natural polymer extracted from guar beans, it is not toxic by itself, it is used in ice cream that everyone eats. Many foods will choose it as a thickener during processing. As long as it is added within the limit, it will have no effect on the body. Guar gum is non-toxic and usually eaten in moderation is harmless to the human body, but whether guar gum will cause harm to the human body still needs to be judged according to the amount of guar gum consumed. Just like bread, they are non-toxic, but if you eat too much, you will have an upset stomach. The damage of guar gum to the human body is mainly caused by its physical properties. Guar gum is 5-8 times thicker than starch, and can quickly disperse in a hydrated solution and swell immediately to form a high-viscosity gel. If guar gum is eaten alone and in excess, it can swell in the esophagus and cause esophagus damage or blockage. If you experience discomfort after eating a large amount of guar gum, it is recommended to go to the hospital in time, and if necessary, induce vomiting and gastric lavage.
The safety of thickeners is very high, guar gum is a kind of food thickener, and it is no limit to its usage in many foods. On the contrary, if there is no thickener, the whey in yogurt will separate out, the ice cream will melt easily, and the pulp in the juice cannot be suspended... Similarly, adding guar gum to the tofu cat litter will not cause toxic side effects to the cat. Cats eating a small amount of tofu cat litter by mistake is no risk, the cat litter will not cause any harm to the cat's health. But tofu cat litter is not food after all, and cats are likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort after eating a large amount of it. If your cat has a habit of eating cat litter, you should try your best to help your cat break this habit.
How to tell in tofu cat litter use guar gum or not?
The price of guar gum has been high, and some businesses will choose lower-cost industrial glue to add to tofu cat litter as a binder. Although industrial glue can also ensure the clumping ability of tofu cat litter, the clumping ability is even stronger. However, industrial glue is a chemically synthesized substance, which is not guaranteed in terms of safety and cannot be compared with guar gum at all. How do distinguish tofu cat litter use guar gum or industrial glue?
Price. The cost of guar gum is relatively high, which determines that the price of finished tofu cat litter will not be too low. If the price of tofu cat litter is significantly lower than the market average, then you should pay attention to it.
Ingredients. The ingredient list on the package of tofu cat litter will indicate the various ingredients. To see if there is guar gum in it. But it should be noted that the ingredient list is easy to be faked and can only be used as a preliminary investigation. While tofu cat litter marked with guar gum does not necessarily use guar gum, tofu cat litter that is not marked with guar gum must not use guar gum.
Odor. Guar gum is generally a white or light-yellow free-flowing powder, odorless, but much industrial glue has a strong pungent odor. We can further check whether guar gum is used in the tofu cat litter by checking whether they have any peculiar smell.
Clumps. Industrial glues are generally much more viscous than guar gum. We can add a small amount of water to the tofu cat litter, and after the tofu cat litter is agglomerated, take out the cat litter clumps. Break the cat litter clumps apart by hand, the tofu cat litter using industrial glue is more viscous inside, so the resistance is greater when breaking apart, and even the phenomenon of wire drawing may occur.