Acacia is one of the most popular vegetation of the plant kingdom. Although there are over 1100 Acacia species worldwide, Acacia Senegal and Acacia Seyal remain the most commercially exploited species of the whole Acacia resource. Both species are of African origin.
The Sudanese gum belt extends from latitude 10 to 18 where the habitat Acacia Senegal is sandy soils -arid zones-from latitude 13 upwards. The species play an important ecological role in improving climatic conditions; and preventing desert encroachment. Acacia Seyal domain is the wet clay soils of Central and Northern Sudan -the rich Savanna regions,- from latitude 10 downwards. The whole area of the gum belt is around 25200 squared kilometres (6000 feddans) and is inhabited by over five million Sudanese people.
Physical and Chemical Properties of Gum Arabic :
- Gum Arabic is a pale white orange brown solid that breaks with glassy fracture.
- Highly soluble in water and solution upto 55% can be obtained.
- It is insoluble in oils and most organic solvents.
- It is regarded as 95% soluble fiber.
- Gum Arabic contains neutral sugars like Rhamnose, Arabinose and Galactose.
- It contains Glucuronic acid and 4 – methoxyglucuronic acid.
- Includes cationic components like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
- Molecular weight ranges from 200,000 to 300,000 and as high as 600,000
Applications of Gum
- Miscellaneous Bakery Applications
- Encapsulated Flavours
- Pharmaceuticals, Vitamins and Cosmetics
- High Fiber Formulations
- Miscellaneous Industrial Applications
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