Gum Arabic

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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.

To crystallize flower petals, mix gum Arabic with rose water in ratio of 1:3, then brush this over your flowers, sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to dry in a warm dry place.

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

Category Comments
Applications Suspending agent, flavour encapsulator, sugar crystal inhibitor
Rate of hydration Rapid, 100% cold-water soluble
Colour Light to off-white powder
Solubility Cold
pH solubility 4.1 - 8.0
Dosage 1.0 - 2.0%

Other Languages

Language Gum Arabic
French Gomme arabique
German Gummiarabikum
Italian Gomma arabica
Spanish Goma arábica

Further Reading

  • Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.