Seed Galactomannans: An Overview



Seed galactomannans are vegetable, heterogeneous polysaccharides widely distributed in nature. Generally, they possess (1→4)-linked D-mannopyranose (Man) main chains to which are attached (1→6)-linked D-galactopyranosyl (Gal) units. The Man/Gal ratios differ from gum to gum, resulting in a change in structure, which, in turn, determines the various industrial applications of seed galactomannans. These materials are important in paper, textile, petroleum-drilling, pharmaceutics, food, cosmaceutics, and explosives industries. In this review, the biodiversified applicability of galactomannan gums is discussed, particularly with respect to structural aspects, properties, human consumption, and technical applications. Especially important is that the solution properties (rheological behaviour, viscosity, emulsifying tendency, etc.) of natural and chemically modified galactomannans can be tuned by interaction with other (carbohydrate-based) monomers or polymers.