Gum Arabic


Gum Arabic is an excretion of the Acacia tree and is certainly the most ancient and most well known of all gum types. The term ‘Gum Arabic’ was coined by European merchants who imported it from Arab ports such as Jeddah and Alexandria. Egyptians referred to it as ‘Kami’ and allegedly used it from the third dynasty onwards (around 2650 BC) to secure bandages around mummies. This gum was, supposedly, also used to fix pigments into hieroglyphic paintings.

There are close to 900 Acacia species capable of producing gum. These are primarily located in tropical climates, with about 130 of them located specifically on the African continent. Africa therefore quickly became the major site of Acacia (leguminous) trees. Of these trees there are up to 17 Acacia Gum species which produce Acacia Gum of varying quality and quantity.

Acacia trees - Acacia Senegal (L) Wild and Acacia Seyal Del. - are grown naturally and in the wild throughout the sub Saharan regions of Africa forming the “Gum Belt” from East to West - Sudan to Chad and Nigeria to Senegal. Close to 80% of Gum Arabic is produced by the Acacia Senegal. The remainder is produced either by the Acacia Laeta or the Acacia Seyal, with each species contributing 10% to the total supply of Gum. The Gum produced by the Acacia Senegal is commonly referred to as “Hard Gum” and the Gum from Acacia Seyal, as “Flaky Gum”. Gum Arabic is a natural product harvested from the exterior of the trees and is of a pale yellow to orange - brown colour which when ruptured, secretes a vitreous substance. Gum Arabic has become one of the most important food ingredients because it has such unique characteristics.

Mountain Moonlight Intl. sources Gum Arabic products responsibly from established sustainable sources. We have many years experience in finding the products from our diversified sourcing networks. We handle the highest quality of Acacia Senegal (Hashab Gum) and Acacia Seyal (Talha) from Sudan and Chad. We routinely travel to all production countries and inspect the crop situation from each harvesting area. Mountain Moonlight Intl. supplies a series of industrial grades, including hand picked selected (HPS), cleaned (Kordofan Cleaned), kibbled and sifted. We work with both the Food and Pharmaceutical Industries across Europe and the Asian markets. The table below shows functional applications of Gum Arabic. For more information and product specification please contact us directly.