Sunday, May 04, 2008

Some Common Example of Gums

Gums and mucilages are two products in which carbohydrates formed the main components. Gums are pathological products, meaning that they are harvested after the tree or plant is injured considerably. Gummy exudates, will be secreted from the tree and when it hardens, it will be ready for harvesting. Most gums dissolve in water and if hydrolysed, it yields a lot of sugar molecules. This will be highlighted below.

Tragacanth Gum
  • Astragalus gummifer. Tragacanth gum came from the dessert.
  • Flattened, ribbon-like pieces.
  • Contains Bassorin and tragacanthin.
  • Used as emulsifiers, for oil and resins.
  • Hand lotion, demulcent, emollient, Cloth Sizing, Confectionary.

Acacia Gum
  • Gummy exudate from the stems and branches of Acacia senegal.
  • Known as Gum arabic.
  • Spheroidal tears, angular fragments or flakes of a myriad of sizes. Very brittle.
  • Consists of Arabin, mixture of Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium salts of Arabic acid.
  • Suspending agent, demulcent in the form of mucilage.

Sterculia Gum
  • From Sterculia urens and S. tragacantha, from incisions made to the heartwood.
  • In tears, irregular appearances, crystalline in appearance.
  • Have an acetous taste.
  • Swell in water but not soluble in alcohol.
  • Consists of D-galacturonic acid, D-tagatose, D-galactose, and Rhamnose.
  • Also known as gum Karaya.
  • Used as a cathartic, for emulsions and suspensions, wave set solutions and in skin lotions, textile and printing industries, preparing food products, in preparation of composite building materials.

Mesquite Gum
  • An arabinogalactan with a β-1,3-galactopyran core and L-arabinose side chains.
  • Emulsifying agent. Obtained from Prosopis juliflora.

Ghatti Gum
  • Exudation from the wood of Anogeisus latifolia.
  • Very soluble in cold water and it will form a very viscous mucilage.


Barry said...

I am growing Sterculia urens in my garden, along with many other dry tropical species. I didn't know the gum wasn't soluble in alcohol. I made the interesting choice one day of chewing on a piece of gum I cracked off, and it quite handily stuck in one of my molars, and remained there until I used a straighted paper clip to remove it. The foliage exudes an odd aroma, somewhat like black pepper mixed with human body odor. It is quite distinct. Thanks for the additional information.

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