Gum Arabic, a water soluble gum, is obtained from the sap of trees called acacias, usually the Acacia Senegal. The sap from the tree often hardens when it hits the air in an oval form which can be fully dissolved in water. Gum Arabic is sold in chunks, pellets, oil, powder or syrup form. The chemical components of the gum, polysaccarides, arabinogalactan oligosaccharides and glycoproteins are responsible for its gluey consistency making it a natural emulsifier, used to keep ingredients that normally do not mix well together.
Gum Arabicís stabilizing quality makes it a good food binder. They are used as an ingredient in confectioneries, soft drinks, gummy candies, marshmallows and chocolate candies. It is also used in pharmaceuticals and in the manufacture of inks, paints and adhesives. In cola drinks gum Arabic is useful in keeping the sugar to settle to the bottom of the drink.
The gum is sold in local African markets for its medicinal properties. It is known to help with diarrhea, constipation, stomach problems, the common cold, sore throats, bleeding and eye issues.
Health issues with gum Arabic are physical exposure irritation of the skin, mucous membranes, eyes and upper respiratory tract. The substance emits toxic fumes when heated. Sensitivity has been report to the tablet additive in some kidney transplant patients.
Gum Acacia, Chaar Gund, Char Goond or Meska.