Gum Arabic

What is Gum Arabic?

Gum arabic or gum acacia is a tree exudate obtained from the stems and branches of Acacia senegal. It consists mainly of high molecular weight polysaccharides and their magnesium, calcium and potassium salts which of hydrolysis yield galactose, arabinose, glucuronic acid and rhamnose. Gum arabic is a purely vegetable product and harmless edible biopolymer. Gum Arabic from acacia seyal is sometimes referred to as talha.

Other name – acacia gum, gum acacia, arabic gum, acacia, indian guma and senegal gum

Density

1.35-1.49

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

≈ 0.25×106

Boiling Point

> 250ºC

Melting Point

0 – 100oC

Gum Arabic Structure


Gum arabic

Physical Properties of Gum Arabic

Odour

Odourless

Appearance

Glassy appearance

pH

4.5

Emulsifying properties

30%

Solubility

The solubility in water is 43–48%

Uses of Gum Arabic

  • Used more generous than glair, if a little sugar or honey is put into it to keep it from becoming brittle.
  • The use of gum produces a more transparent effect than that of glair, the colour tends to be laid more thinly and to appear richer and darker.
  • Used as a basic ingredient of familiar foods such as chewing gum, marshmallows and liquorice.
  • In brewing it is used as a foam stabilizer and agent to promote adhesion of foam to glass.
  • Used as a clarity stabilizer in the chemical treatment of wines.
  • Gum syrup or gum is widely used by professional bartenders in preparing some cocktails is essentially sugar water with the addition of gum arabic for extra body and a pleasing “mouth feel”.

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