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Gum arabic


Gum arabic, also known as acacia gum, arabic gum, gum acacia, acacia, Senegal gum and Indian gum, and by other names, is a natural gum consisting of the hardened sap of various species of the acacia tree. Originally, gum arabic was collected from Acacia nilotica which was called the "gum arabic tree"; in the present day, gum arabic is collected from acacia species, predominantly Acacia senegal and Vachellia (Acacia) seyal; the term "gum arabic" does not indicate a particular botanical source. In a few cases so‐called "gum arabic" may not even have been collected from Acacia species, but may originate from Combretum, Albizia or some other genus. Producers harvest the gum commercially from wild trees, mostly in Sudan (80%) and throughout the Sahel, from Senegal to Somalia—though it is historically cultivated in Arabia and West Asia. Gum arabic is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides. It is the original source of the sugars arabinose and ribose, both of which were first discovered and isolated from it, and are named after it.


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