E412 is a food additive that has multiple uses, but the most common for us vegans to run into it would be in certain plant-milks, as it’s used to thicken them in many cases.
You can also find it used in some shampoos/conditioners/soaps, as well as things like frosting or candy, and of course some of the fore-mentioned plant-milks. It’s also often in frozen foods such as ice creams and some vegetarian meat replacements.
Is E412 (Guar Gum) Vegan?
Yes, Guar Gum, more commonly called E412 is 100% Vegan and contains no animal products whatsoever.
E412 is Derived exclusively from a single plant, the Guar plant. They take the beans out of their pods and grind them up, and after a little filtering all that’s left is a silky smooth powder with little flavor. It has a flavor, a hint of grass, but when it’s in a product/food it’s unnoticeable.
Is E412 (Guar Gum) Safe to Consume?
Guar Gum is one of the best/safest thickening agents that’s commonly used and widely available to manufacturers. It’s a popular alternative to carrageenan, which is known in some people to cause minor digestion problems or bloating, albeit rare. Carrageenan is also vegan, as are essentially all alternatives to E412 (Guar Gum), however none of them are particularly healthier or better for you (or the planet/animals) than one another.