Egyptians have used Acacia Senegal gum as a glue and as a pain-reliever base throughout the ages. It has also been used to stabilize emulsions. In Africa, it was chewed like gum and is considered highly nutritious. Acacia Senegal Gum has been proven that 6 ounces are sufficient to support an adult for 24 hours.
Arabic Gum is an odorless resin that appears in nature in the round form or shape of tears, light yellow to reddish-yellow pieces. Gum Arabic readily dissolves in cold water, is odor- and tasteless, and weakly acidic with a pH value of around 4.5.
Acacia has also been used to form protective, soothing coatings over inflamed areas of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. Topically, it has been used in lotions as a soothing agent, oil-in-water emulsifier, and astringent. Acacia Senegal gum is used externally to cover inflamed surfaces like bums or nodular leprosy. Whole gum mixtures of acacia have been shown to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria.
It is a complex polysaccharide that is neutral or weakly acid and contains nitrogenous material (amino acids). The contained sugar monomers in a ratio of 3:3:1:1 are galactose, arabinose, rhamnose, and glucuronic acid. Acacia Senegal Gum is useful in skincare lotions, creams, astringents, anti-microbial deodorants, and products for the bath.
The gum is collected in several countries in the south of the Sahel Zone of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania) by tapping the tree of different kinds of Acacia Senegal species. The main supplier countries are Sudan, Chad, and Nigeria.
As thickener, stabilizer, emulsifier, suspension agent, or foam stabilizer in
- food (confectionery, beverages, dairy products, bakery products, diabetic and dietetic food, flavors)
- pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry (emulsions, tablets, tablet coating, lotions, facial masks)
- technical applications (adhesive, glue, inks).