Gum Arabic/Arabic gum (E414,) also known as acacia gum has a complex molecular structure that contains arabinose, galactose and glucuronic acid. It is agum from a natural plant condensed from the juice extracted from a tree called Acacia. A Good-quality Gum Arabic is amber in color, and have a characteristically large round granule. It is often used in providing favorable adhesion and soft elasticity in chewing gum. It can naturally form knots on the bark of tree, known as gummosis. If the bark is cut, the colloid will be produced to seal the “wound” and the process needs 3-8 weeks. Furthermore, the colloid is secreted from the stem of wattle and Acacia Senegal. Gum Arabic is often used to make powdered oils and usually with gelatin together. Since it has favorable water solubility and emulsifying property, it helps to improve the microencapsulation efficiency of embedded substance in the embedding process. When Gum Arabic meets carbonated beverage containing carbonate, it will be easier to achieve the breakthrough in the surface tension of water molecules, releasing more carbon dioxide at an alarming rate. Gum Arabic can also be widely used in beverage production. For example, it helps to stabilize the flavor and essential oil in the production of soft drinks or concentrated juice. With favorable emulsifying property, Gum Arabic is particularly suitable for emulsification system of oil-in-water type and widely used as emulsion stabilizer in the emulsion flavor. Gum Arabic/Arabic gum helps to hinder the formation of sugar crystals, so it can be used as the anti-crystallizing agent in candies to prevent crystallization. Furthermore, it can effectively emulsify milk and cream in milk candies to avoid overflow and in chocolate, it is used for surface glazing to make chocolates melt only in the mouth but not in the hand. Gum Arabic can also be used in many other industries. In conclusion, its application in the food industry can be summarized as natural emulsion stabilizer, thickening, suspending, adhesion and film-forming agents as well as water-soluble dietary fibre.
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