Knowledge Base

Gum

Gum Tragacanth, Arabic Gum and Locust Bean Gum

What are they?

Gum tragacanth is a tasteless, odourless, soluble powder made from the sap of the plant known commonly as goats thorn and locoweed. When the powder is dissolved into a liquid is turns into a gel which can be used as a stabiliser, thickener, emulsifier, texturantand even used in natural medicine as a burn healer. The gum can act as an array of different things including being used as a stabiliser in processed food, beverages and salad dressings. It is also used in pharmaceuticals. Its gel like features can be used as an edible glue in confectionary flowers and in cigar rolling.

 

Gum Arabic has similar appearance and properties to gum tragacanth and is a cheaper alternative. It is made is to stabilise products with a stronger hold, such as chewing gum, glues, paints, textiles and in bakery products. Gomme syrup is a byproduct of adding the gum to a sugar/water solution of which can used in cocktails and meal replacement drinks to prevent crystallisation and provide a smooth mouth feel.

 

Locust bean gum also known as carob gum is a similar white, odourless powder to the previous gums however the strengths differ. Locust gum can be used a stabiliser and thickener in ice cream, cream cheese and salad dressings.

 

How are they made?

Gum Arabic is made from Acacia trees throughout Arabia and West Asia. Its gum is obtained through the sap from holes in the tree.

Tragacanth is obtained from the dried sap of different species of the middle eastern legume.

Locust bean is extracted from beans within a pod on the carob tree based in the Mediterranean region.

All three natural gums attained from trees are dried out and ground to get a white, yellow-ish powder with can then be dissolved and used as gums.

 

 

How to use them

All three gums can be used as a thickener and stabiliser, however gum tragacanth is a more expensive, concentrated version. All can be dissolved into hot or cold water and used in mixtures such as salad dressings or sauces.

 

Learn more with our extensive knowledge base

Brush up your knowledge on allergens, kosher food and even UK food Laws with our knowledge base

Knowledge – Puff Pastry Theory

Knowledge Base Puff Pastry Puff Pastry Fat or Margarine:This is a product made especially for puff pastry from oils and fats having a high melting point. It enables puff pastry to be made under warm conditions, that is, in summer, and will enable the pastry to...

Knowledge – What is a Saccharometer?

Knowledge Base Saccharometer Baume scale  A Saccharometer is an instrument used to indicate the density of sugar solutions (syrups). The relative differences between densities of liquids are read off a graduated scale on the tube. This apparatus gauges the...

Knowledge – Types of Raising Agents

Knowledge Base Raising Agents Types of raising agents Methods of aeration or raising agents Biological (Yeast) Chemical (Baking powder) Mechanical {Whisking/beating) Lamination (Folding/rolling) YEASTGiven the right conditions of warmth, liquid and food, yeast will...

Have a Question?

Talk to the Chef