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Description

ACACIA GUM - GUM ARABIC                                                                                                                                                                                                        ACACIA SENEGAL

Gum Arabic – Adrian Products

ORIGIN: NILE AREA - ETHIOPIA - EAST AFRICA - ANGOLA - MOZAMBIQUE - SOUTH AFRICA - ARABIA - IRAN - AFGHANISTAN - INDIA

THE ACACIA TREE FROM WHICH GUM ARABICA IS DERIVED, IS INDIGENOUS TO THE NILE AREA - ETHIOPIA - EAST AFRICA - ANGOLA - MOZAMBIQUE - SOUTH AFRICA - ARABIA - IRAN - AFGHANISTAN - INDIA

IT GROWS TO ABOUT SEVENTY FEET WITH HARD, WOODY, RUSTY-BROWN COLOURED BARK AND FEATHERY LEAVES AND PRODUCES SMALL, BRIGHT YELLOW FLOWER HEADS AND PODS UP TO SIX INCHES LONG.

THE BARK IS COLLECTED FROM PLANTS THAT ARE AT LEAST SEVEN YEARS OLD AND THEN LEFT TO MATURE FOR A YEAR. THE AUSTRALIAN SPECIES, BLACK WATTLE, IS COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE UNDER THE SAME NAME AS ACACIA.

BLACK CATECHU IS INDIGENOUS TO INDIA, BURMA, SRI LANKA, AND EAST AFRICA, GROWING TO ABOUT FORTY FEET IN HEIGHT AT ALTITUDES OF 5,000 FEET. IT PRODUCES THORNY BRANCHES, DIVIDED FEATHERY LEAVES AND FLOWERS OF CLOSE SPIKES. IT GROWN MAINLY FOR ITS LUMBER. BLACK CATECHU HEARTWOOD IS HARVESTED, GROUND, AND BOILED IN WATER FOR TWELVE HOURS. THE RESIDUE IS THEN REMOVED, THE EXTRACT STEAMED TO A SYRUP CONSISTENCY, AND IS COOLED IN MOLDS. WHEN DRIED, THIS SHINY, BLACK-BROWN MASS, CALLED "CUTCH", BECOMES A BRITTLE SOLID WHICH IS BROKEN UP INTO IRREGULAR PIECES AND SOLD.

SENEGAL IS FOUND IN THE TROPICAL SAVANNAH BELT OF AFRICA IN THE SOUTHERN SAHARA (SENEGAL AND GAMBIA), IN ARABIA, BELUCHISTAN AND SIND. IT GROWS IN FOREST-LIKE CONDITIONS IN THE WESTERN AND SOUTHWESTERN SAHARA REGION (SENEGAL, GAMBIA, IVORY COAST, NORTHERN DAHOMEY AND NORTHERN NIGERIA).

THE LATEX IS THE RESULT OF A WOUND INFECTION OF TREE, WHICH HAS OCCURRED NATURALLY OR BY INDUCEMENT.

THE INCISED BARK IS REMOVED IN STRIPS APPROXIMATELY AN INCH WIDE BY TWO FEET IN LENGTH. THE LIQUID DRIES TO FORM A HARD, GLAZED SUBSTANCE AND IS COLLECTED ON A WEEKLY BASIS FROM TREES RANGING FROM THREE TO TWELVE YEARS OLD. ONLY THE LATEX FROM A. SENEGA OR OTHER AFRICAN VARIETIES ARE OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED.

THE MEXICAN SPECIES IS A SHRUB THAT GROWS WILD, HAVING THORNY STEMS AND CLUMPS OF FRAGRANT YELLOW FLOWERS. IT THRIVES ABUNDANTLY IN THE SONORAN DESERT AND IN TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL CLIMATES THROUGHOUT MEXICO. IT IS CULTIVATED AS AN ORNAMENTAL IN GARDENS IN THE AMERICAS, AS WELL AS IN SOUTHERN EUROPE, WHERE IT IS ALSO GROWN COMMERCIALLY FOR ITS FLOWERS, WHOSE AROMA IS USED IN PERFUMES.

DESCRIPTION 

GUM ARABIC FROM A. SENEGAL IS A PALE WHITE TO ORANGE-BROWN SOLID, WHICH BREAKS WITH A GLASSY FRACTURE. THE BEST GRADES ARE IN THE FORM OF WHOLE, SPHEROIDAL TEARS OF VARYING SIZE WITH A MATTE SURFACE TEXTURE. WHEN GROUND, THE PIECES ARE PALER AND HAVE A GLASSY APPEARANCE. GUM FROM OTHER ACACIA SPECIES MAY NOT HAVE THE CHARACTERISTIC TEAR SHAPE AND ARE OFTEN DARKER IN COLOR. GUM FROM A. SEYAL IS MORE BRITTLE THAN THE HARD TEARS OF A. SENEGAL. GUM ARABIC IS ALSO AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY IN THE FORM OF WHITE TO YELLOWISH-WHITE FLAKES, GRANULES, POWDER.