Tara pods are the fruit of the tara tree, which is native mainly to the Peruvian Andes. Historically, the trees grew widely, but due to the high and raising demand, the majority of tara comes from plantations nowadays. And many plantations are located in the costal areas. Approximately 70,000 families living in mostly remote and poor areas are linked to the cultivation of tara and form part of the supply chain, making tara gum an important agricultural product for the sustainable development of wealth.
The main harvest is from May to September, the second one is harvested upon November.
Tannins and other components are extracted from the pulp, which are used for leather tanning. The endosperms (splits) from the seeds are isolated and then milled to obtain tara gum, utilised in the food and cosmetics industry.
In terms of its chemistry and applications, tara gum has properties that are similar to both guar gum and locust bean gum.