Gum arabic

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Gum arabic, also known as acacia gum, arabic gum, gum acacia, acacia, Senegal gum and Indian gum, and by many many other names, is a natural gum consisting of the hardened sap of various species of the acacia tree.

Composition

Gum arabic is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides predominantly consisting of arabinose and galactose, bound in polymer called arabinogalactan. It is soluble in water, edible, and used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer, with EU E number E414.

Properties

Gum arabic is a translucent reddish-orange (sometimes orange-peach) solid, soluble in water, glycerol and propylene glycol, but insoluble in ethanol and hydrocarbon solvents. It has a density of 1.35-1.49 g/cm3.

Availability

It is sold by various food suppliers. Can also be acquired online.

Projects/Uses

  • Glue and binder
  • Binder in pyrotechnic compositions
  • Food stabilizer, emulsifier and thickening agent
  • Photography
  • Gum bichromate

Handling

Safety

Gum arabic has low toxicity and is edible. Gum arabic slows the rate of absorption of some drugs, including amoxycillin, from the gut.

Storage

In closed clean containers.

Disposal

No special disposal is required. Discard it as you with.

See also

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads