Differentiate between Resins and Gums

Resins and Gums are secondary metabolic products of plants which are produced as a result of injury to the plant. They are important to us as they hold a number of commercial applications. Let us look at their differences:

Resins

Gums

Composition

Resins are a mixture of organic compounds mainly composed of terpenes.

Gums are made of polysaccharides and their derivatives.

Solubility

They are soluble in various organic liquids but not in water.

They are water-soluble or rather absorb water well.

Exudation

They exude from plant passages and cavities.

They exude naturally from the stems of the plants.

Formation

Resins are formed as oxidation products.

Gums are formed by the decomposition of cellulose and plant tissues, a process called gummosis.

Flammability

They burn with a smoky flame, when ignited.

They decompose directly without melting on heating.

Uses

Used as varnishes, adhesives, food glazing agent and in incense and perfumes.

Used as thickening agents, emulsifiers, gelling agents and swelling agents.

Extracted from

Cedar, Fir, Juniper, Pine, Spruce, etc.

Acacia, Astrangalus, Sterculia, Feronia, Ceratonia, etc.

Examples

Amber, balsam, copal

Agar, acacia gum, guar gum

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