Seeds of the tamarind tree became a commercial source of gum in 1943 when the Forest Research Institute at Dehra-Dun, India found the gum useful as a paper & textile size. Problems with the odour, bitter taste & difficulty of protein removal have been overcome.
Tamarind trees are commonly cultivated in India, Bangladesh, Burma, Srilanka and other parts of the world but are indigenous to South India & Africa. Trees are large evergreens growing to a height of about 12ft(4m) bearing fruit after 13 years, with an average yield of 180-225 kg for a full-grown tree. Tamarind seed is about 1.6 cm(0.7in) in length and 0.7cm(0.3in) thick.