Someday chewing gum companies may buy gum produced in fields of soybeans. Researchers from Pioneer Hi-Bred International have successfully transferred a gum-producing gene, found in the guar and carob plants, into soybeans. Moving the gene to soybeans will make the popular food additive more readily available to the food industry. Currently, the prices for gums from guar and carob fluctuate because of seasonal variations in crop performance.
Gums are used in foods to provide texture, prevent ice crystal formation, maintain crispness and retain moisture. They also are used in other industries, including the cosmetics, human health, textiles and paper industries.