Gum Arabic is a natural and edible gum. Gum Arabic has almost no colour, smell or taste, but is good at thickening scented foods. Use gum arabic is used as a stabiliser that subtly increases the viscosity of liquids, so is used in the brewing and soft drinks industries to give liquids more "body". Gum arabic has excellent adhesive properties and so is a good food coating agent.
Traditionally, strips of acacia bark are removed in springtime (February - May). After 3 weeks or so, the tears of gum are removed, dried, bleached in the sun and cleaned.
Overview of Gum Arabic's Characteristics
|Applications||Suspending agent, flavour encapsulator, sugar crystal inhibitor|
|Rate of hydration||Rapid, 100% cold-water soluble|
|Colour||Light to off-white powder|
|pH solubility||4.1 - 8.0|
|Dosage||1.0 - 2.0%|
- Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.