Gum Acacia - G-ACA
INS No. 414; CAS No. 9000-01-5

Gum acacia, or Gum Arabic, is a natural substance is used in foods, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics & other industries as a thickener, emulsifier, stabilizer, binder as well as a source of dietary fiber, helping with digestion of foods, lowering cholesterol & helping in management of weight. It is also used to stop soil erosion. Acacia gum tears are obtained from the sap of acacia trees, like Senegalia senegal & Vachellia seyal etc.

Gum acacia (G-ACA) is a complex combination of glycoproteins & polysaccharides that mainly have L-arabinose, D-galactose, L-rhamnose and D-glucuronic acid distributed in the approximate molar ratio of 3:3:1:11 respectively. The molecular weight of gum acacia lies between 200,000-600,000 Daltons. Its structure has a branched backbone of 1,3-linked β-D-galactopyranosyl units, with side chains of 1,6-linked α-L-arabinofuranosyl or 4-O-methyl-α-D-glucuronic acid units connected to C-6 of the galactose residues. The glycoprotein part of gum acacia is made up of hydroxyproline, serine, alanine & glycine as the main amino acids.

Gum Acacia

Gum Acacia

Structure of Gum Acacia
Gum Acacia
Gum Acacia

Gum Acacia tear on tree

Uses of Gum Acacia

G-ACA is versatile and multifunctional ingredient that enhances the quality, performance & appeal of various products.

  • Provides stabilization of colloidal systems of sauces, dressings, beverages.
  • Texture improvements for sugar & polyol containing candies, chewing gums & other confectioneries. In formulation of chews (hard sweets/lozenges), dosage of 1% acacia gum is used.
  • Acacia solutions in water are hydrocolloidal & are sticky & prevent crystallization of sugar when combined with syrups, hence proving the drink with a smooth texture.
  • As an inert encapsulating carrier for flavors, colors & fragrance.
  • Its emulsifying action is used for stabilizing O/W emulsions of cosmetic products like creams, lotions etc.; an alternative to use of synthetic products.
  • Its used as nutritional & health fiber rich ingredient allowing improved digestion & general well-being. Due to its high soluble fiber content, it improves heart health, protects against diabetes & easing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
  • Binding properties of eco-friendly gum acacia is exploited to prevent desertification & erosion of soil.

Used as thickener, emulsifier, foam stabilizer, moisture retention agent and/or texturizing agent in manufacture of cheese, frozen dairy desserts, meat & poultry products, flour, icing, centre fillings, soft candies, chewing gums etc. as well as to bind sweeteners & flavors in soft drinks.

Gum acacia is used in the pharmaceutical industry as emulsifying agent, thickener/viscosity-increasing agent, and binder, especially in buccal or lozenge type dosage forms. 

The acacia powder hydrates readily in cold water & concentrations of up to 40-50% are easy to handle and control. Unlike most other water-soluble gums of similar molecular weight, acacia gum exhibits very low viscosity in water; a 1% dispersion of Xanthan gum & a 40% solution of gum acacia have similar viscosities of about 3000-5000 cps. Hence, it is necessary to use additional gums or thickeners while formulating oral & topical pharmaceutical formulations.

It is also used in the preparation of buccal tablets (pastilles & lozenges). It is used to stabilise O/W emulsions which are used in tablet coatings.

Gum Acacia

Gum Acacia or Gum arabic

Gum Acacia

Uses of Gum Acacia in Sauces

Gum Acacia