Gum Acacia is available in many forms including:
Origins of Gum Arabic
Derived from the sap of the African acacia tree, gum arabic is one of the world’s most common gums with the longest history. Also known as gum acacia, it was used in ancient times for purposes as varied as mummification and inks for hieroglyphics. In 1949, TIC Gums added gum arabic to its growing line of tree exudates.
From Source to Resource
Today, gum arabic is harvested in the gum belt of Africa, in nations such as Chad, Eritrea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. It is then dried or aged for one year before being processed into spray dried powder. Defined as a cold water-soluble polysaccharide, gum arabic is a multi-functional hydrocolloid that features a highly branched arabino-galactan-protein complex.
At our facility in Belcamp, Maryland, we convert the raw gum arabic into finished form. While our food scientists and chemists continue to study the chemical characteristics that make gum arabic such a powerful ingredient, the cultivation and harvesting of the gum has undergone few changes in the thousands of years it has been used in commerce. As such, our TIC Pretested® Gum Arabic products are not genetically modified and are processed without radiation.
Patenting Our Process
In the 1980's, TIC Gums began the process of expanding the available sources of gum arabic with a goal in mind --- to build a reliable and affordable supply. We mapped the growing region and examined the differences in characteristics of the harvested gum acacia at the molecular level in order to better understand the mechanisms that impact finished product quality. This work culminated in Ticamulsion® A-2010, the only patented modified gum acacia with superior emulsifying properties.
Gum Arabic: A Versatile Emulsifier
Gum arabic is a versatile hydrocolloid that has many applications. A superior emulsifier, our Gum Arabic Spray Dry Powder is widely used in the production of beverage and flavor emulsions and meal replacers. Its low viscosity and adhesive properties, meanwhile, make gum arabic an excellent ingredient for coating cereal, confections, and snack foods. For bakery products, the gum’s binding and emulsification abilities aid in the formulation of icings and frostings as well as baked goods like cakes and muffins.
In 2001, TIC Gums introduced organically certified TICorganic® Gum Arabic, which further expanded its application into the growing organic segment. Beyond foods and beverages, gum arabic has been long used in lithographic processes and pharmaceutical products.
The Health Benefits of Gum Arabic
In addition to its functional properties, gum arabic plays an important dietary role. It is an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber (more than 85% on dry basis) and because of its low viscosity (300 cP maximum in a 1% solution), can be used to boost fiber levels in a food or beverage without drastically altering the finished viscosity. Learn more about the benefits of soluble dietary fiber from gums.