The key difference between acacia gum and tragacanth gum is that acacia gum is derived from the species of Acacia, while tragacanth gum is derived from the species of Astragalus.
Acacia gum and tragacanth gum are two types of natural gums. Natural gums are polysaccharides with natural origins. They are mostly botanical gums. This is because most of them are found in the woody elements of plants or in seed coatings. Moreover, natural gums are capable of causing a large increase in a solution’s viscosity even at small concentrations. Hence, they are very useful for industrial purposes.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Acacia Gum
3. What is Tragacanth Gum
4. Similarities – Acacia Gum and Tragacanth Gum
5. Acacia Gum vs Tragacanth Gum in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Acacia Gum vs Tragacanth Gum
What is Acacia Gum?
Acacia gum is a natural gum that is derived from the species of Acacia. It is also known as gum Arabic, and it consists of the hardened sap of two species of Acacia; Senegalia senegal and Vachellia seyai. Acacia gum is harvested for commercial purposes from the wild trees in Sudan, Sahel, Senegal, and Somalia. The term gum Arabic has been used for acacia gum in the Middle East since ancient times. Moreover, acacia gum first found its way to Europe via Arabic ports.
Acacia gum is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides. The polysaccharides are predominately polymers of arabinose and galactose. Acacia gum is soluble in water. Furthermore, it is edible and used primarily in the food industry and soft drink industry as a stabilizer. It has the E number of E414 (in USA 1414). In addition, acacia gum is a key ingredient in traditional lithography. It is also used in printing, paint production, glues, cosmetics, viscosity controlling in inks, and in the textile industry. However, less expensive materials compete with acacia gum for many of these above roles.
What is Tragacanth Gum?
Tragacanth gum is a natural gum derived from the species of Astragalus. This gum is a dried sap of the Middle Eastern legume species Astragalus adscendens, Astragalus gummifer, Astragalus brachycalyx and Astragalus tragacantha of genus Astragalus. Some of these species are also collectively known as goat thorn and locoweed. Iran is the biggest producer of this gum. Tragacanth gum is normally a viscous, odourless, tasteless, water-soluble mixture of polysaccharides. It is obtained from sap that is drained from the root of the plant. Later this sap is dried before commercial use.
This gum is used in vegetable tanned leatherworking as an edge slicking and burnishing compound. Moreover, it is occasionally used as a stiffener in textiles. Tragacanth gum has been traditionally used as a herbal remedy for cough and diarrhea. It has been used as a topical treatment for burns as well. It is used in pharmaceuticals and foods as an emulsifier, thickener, stabilizer, and texturant additive. In addition to that, it is a traditional binder used in making artists’ pastels and as an adhesive in the cigar rolling process.
What are the Similarities Between Acacia Gum and Tragacanth Gum?
- Acacia gum and tragacanth gum are two types of natural gums.
- Both are botanical gums.
- They are predominantly found in the Middle East.
- They have extensive industrial uses, such as stabilizers in the food industry.
What is the Difference Between Acacia Gum and Tragacanth Gum?
Acacia gum is a natural gum that is derived from the species of Acacia, while tragacanth gum is a natural gum that is derived from the species of Astragalus. Thus, this is the key difference between acacia gum and tragacanth gum. Furthermore, acacia gum is made up of glycoproteins and polysaccharides, while tragacanth gum is made up of a mixture of polysaccharides.
The below infographic presents the differences between acacia gum and tragacanth gum in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Acacia Gum vs Tragacanth Gum
Acacia gum and tragacanth gum are two types of natural gums derived from the species of Acacia and the species of Astragalus, respectively. Acacia gum is less expensive than tragacanth gum. Acacia gum is a mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides, while tragacanth gum is a mixture of polysaccharides. So, this is the summary of the difference between acacia gum and tragacanth gum.
1. “Gum Arabic: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews.” WebMD.
2. “Gum Tragacanth.” An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.