This plant bears pods of nearly 20cm which contain many cylindrical seeds. These are the cassia tora seeds that are usually broken into two halves and referred to as cassia splits. These splits are usually called by different names like cassia torea splits, senna splits, cassia senna splits etc. Before splitting the seeds are passed through grading machines to differentiate them on the basis of their size.
During this procedure, the underdeveloped seeds are removed and C.occidentalis seeds are reduced to no more than 0.05%. The seeds are dehusked and de-germed by thermal mechanical treatment followed by milling and screening of the endosperm. The endosperm is usually separated from the germ. The dehusking of the splits is usually achieved through heating, grinding, polishing and sieving.
Cassia splits mainly consists of mannose and galactose units. These are pale yellow splits that are normally soluble in hot water. They act as thickening agents and form gels with carageenan and xanthan. These Cassia Torea splits are often used as food additives. They are used in cattle feed products like dog foods, cat foods, cow foods.
The cassia tora split powder obtained from these cassia tora splits are some ancient natural ingredients known for their natural gelling properties. It is used as used as a gelling agent in pet food. It is approved for use in Europe by the Commission Directive (EEC No. E 499) and is listed in the Annex of the Council Directive (70/524/EEC) as a stabilizer, thickening and gelling agent in the manufacture of canned pet foods for cats and dogs. The splits are often used in conjunction with carrageenan and replace the use of Locust Bean Gum or Carob Gum or Guar Gum Splits. They are mostly used in preparing air fresheners in the form of gels.
Splitting The Cassia Tora Seeds
The seed consists of an outer husk, an endosperm (cassia tora split) and the ovary or germ. Only the endosperm or split, which contains mainly polysaccharides, is used for the production of the cassia gum.
Both husk and germ are removed in the de-husking and splitting process. The impact of the splitting procedure is that both husk and germ are loosened from the endosperm and made brittle by heating and can be removed in the subsequent purification procedure after pulverization. The split (endosperm), however, remains intact at these temperatures. Due to its much greater particle size, the split can be separated from husk and germ particles through a couple of physical cleaning steps.