Monday, October 10, 2011

Cluster Beans cultivation

Scientific classification

Kingdom        : Plantae
(unranked)      : Angiosperms
(unranked)      : Eudicots
(unranked)      : Rosids
Order              : Fabales
Family             : Fabaceae
Genus             : Cyamopsis
Species           : C. tetragonoloba
Binomial name : Cyamopsis tetragonoloba

Guar, also known as cluster bean, is an annual legume crop that provides with a natural source of hydrocolloid (substance that forms thick solutions at low concentrations with water). Guar plant is a rough to touch, bushy plant that has the ability to dwell even in the drought like conditions. This small, purple flowered, pointed leaved plant ranges from 2-9 feet in height. It is consumed as a bean, livestock fed and also in the form of manure in the fields. 

The seeds of the guar plant have three parts i.e. the germ, the endosperm and the husk. The popular guar gum, which used in mining, petroleum drilling and textile manufacturing sectors, is obtained from the endosperm of the seed of the plant. The gum is refined to make a yellowish white powder and it is consumed worldwide in this powder form only.

The guar/guwar/guvar bean or cluster bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) is  the source of guar gum. It grows best under conditions with frequent rainfall, but tolerates arid conditions well. About
cluster beans- kasturi

80% of world production occurs in India, but, due to strong demand, the plant is being introduced into new areas. It is known as  gawaar in Hindi and Marathi, goruchikkudu kaya or gokarakaya in Telugu, gorikayie in Kannada, and kotthavarai  in Tamil ,in India.

The guar or guanr bean or cluster bean is a  plant of the pea and bean family. For best growth it requires full sunshine, flashing rainfalls that are moderately frequent, and well drained soil.

However, it is extremely drought tolerant and thrives in semiarid regions where most plants perish. It is grown principally in pakistan and northwestern india, with smaller crops grown in semiarrid areas of usa, Australia and Africa. The most important growing area centres on jodhpur in rajasthan, india. Currently india is the source of about 80% of the world production of guar gum, but current demand for it outstrips supply. Thus guar is being introduced into new growing areas.
Guar producing countries

Guar producing countries

Guar crop is produced in the following countries

India  * Pakistan * Sudan * USA * South Africa*  Brazil*  Malawi *  Zaire* Australia

Why guar is so much in demand! 

Guar is basically a crop that is cultivated mostly in the arid and semi arid areas as it is drought resistant. That is why the Southern Asian continent suits well to the cultivation of this crop especially the Indian subcontinent. The powder made after refining the gum obtained from the plant makes an important raw material in many industries. This powder has some unique characteristics like grease resistance, thickening

agent, capacity to bind water, high viscosity and the capability to function in low temperatures which makes it a highly popular in those sectors. Among other by- products of guar, guar gum powder is the main marketable commodity.

The world’s total production of guar figures around 7.5 to 10 lakh tons of guar every year. The production list of guar is dominated by India as a leading producer of this crop. The consumption pattern of guar seeds is largely influenced by the demands from the petroleum industry of United States of America and the oil fields in the Middle East as the derivative products of these seeds are quite useful in the petroleum drilling industries. United States alone constitute to around 40 thousand tons of guar and its derivatives demand. Also, in rest of the world, the trend of consumption has increased with time that has lead to the introduction of this crop in many countries.

Cultivation pattern

Guar crop requires fertile, medium textured sandy soil types and a hot and dry climate to grow and prosper well. Also it needs a right and appropriate amount of rainfall, as it is a key factor for a high yield. This crop has earned so much popularity because it is one of the best kinds among a few crops that can be produced in the desert areas. It also has soil fixing characteristics that makes it fit well into a crop rotation cycle. It is a short duration crop and is harvested within 3 to 4 months of its plantation. The long deep taproot system enables the plant to grasp all the water in the soil making it an ultimate drought resistant crop.

In most of the regions of its cultivation including India, it is cultivated as a khariff crop. The sowing period is in the months July and August right after the first shower of the monsoon and the harvesting period is in the months October and November. This shows that guar is clearly a rain dependent crop. If the rainfall levels fluctuate during the year, it strongly influences the yield of the crop.


For best growth, the guar bean requires full sunshine, flashing rainfalls that are moderately frequent, and well-drained soil. However, it is extremely drought-tolerant and thrives in semiarid regions. Too much precipitation
can cause the plant to become more "leafy", thereby reducing the number of pods and/or the number of seeds per pod that affects the size and yield of seeds. The crop is sown after the first rains in July and harvested in late October. It is grown principally in northwestern India, and Pakistan with smaller crops grown in the semiarid areas of the high plains of Texas in the USA, Australia and Africa. The most important growing area centres on Jodhpur in Rajasthan and in other states of Gujarat,Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra , Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh  of India.

Currently, India is the source of about 80% of the world production of guar gum. Several commercial growers have converted their crops to guar production to support the increasing demand for guar and other organic crops in the United States.


         Pusa Naubahar
and   Pusa Sadabahar.

Sowing Seeds , spacing and manuring  

Seeds at the rate of 10 to 12 kilograms/hectare (9–11 lb/acre) are planted at a spacing of 45-60 x 20–30 cm (18–24 x 8–12 in) in February–March and June–July. During rainy season, the seeds are sown 2–3 cm (~1 in) deep on ridges and in furrows during summer months. FYM is applied at the rate of 25 tonnes/ha (11.1 tons/acre). N, P2O5 and K2O recommendation for the crop is 20:60:80 kg/ha (18:53:71 lb/acre). Average yield is 5 to 6 tonnes/ha (2.2–2.6 tons/acre).



Guar can be fed to cattle, or used as a green manure.


Guar can be eaten as a green bean, but is more important as the source of guar gum. Guar beans have a large endosperm that contains galactomannan gum, a substance which forms a gel in water. This is commonly known as guar gum and is used in dairy products like ice cream and as a stabilizer in cheese and cold-meat processing.

Another use is as a fiber supplement. After being partially hydrolyzed, guar gum is completely soluble in water and soft food. Being approximately 75% dietary fiber, it allows fiber to be added to a food with a minimal effect on taste and texture.

Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is produced by the partial enzymatic hydrolysis of guaran, the galactomannan of the endosperm of guar seeds (guar gum). It is a neutral polysaccharide consisting of a mannose backbone chain with single galactose side units occurring on almost two out of every three mannose units. The average molecular weight is about 25,000 Daltons. This gives a PHGG that still assays and functions as a soluble dietary fiber. PHGG as sold commercially is completely soluble, acid and heat stable, unaffected by ions, and will not gel at high concentrations. PHGG is fully fermentable in the large bowel, with a high rate of volatile fatty acid formation. The pH of the feces is lowered along with an increase in fecal bulk that mainly consists of bacterial cell mass and water. Clinical studies have demonstrated a prebiotic effect of PHGG. Studies have also shown PHGG can be used to maintain regularity. PHGG is used in foods for particulate suspension, emulsification, antistaling, ice crystal control, and reduced fat baked goods.

Industrial uses

Derivatives of guar gum that has been further reacted is also used in industrial applications, such as the paper and textile industry, ore flotation, the manufacture of explosives and hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas formations. Guar gum has also proven a useful substitute for locust bean gum (made from carob seeds). Guar gum is often crosslinked with boron or chromium ions to make it more stable and heat resistant. The crosslinking of guar with metal ions results in linear gel that does not block the formation and helps efficiently in formation cleaning process. The borate - guar reaction is reversible, and depends on the pH (hydrogen ion concentration) of the solution. Crosslinking of guar with borate happens at high pH (approximately 9-10) of solution.

Sugaring paste used for epilation may include guar as an ingredient.

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