ingredient information
Acacia Gum
AAA
ACACIA NILOTICA Acacia Gum - (Arabic Gum) (LINN.) All the gum-yielding Acacias exhibit the same habit and general appearance, differing only in technical characters. They are spiny shrubs or small trees, preferring sandy or sterile regions, with the climate dry during the greater part of the year. The gum harvest from the various species lasts about five weeks. About the middle of November, after the rainy season, it exudes spontaneously from the trunk and principal branches, but the flow is generally stimulated by incisions in the bark, a thin strip, 2 to 3 feet in length and 1 to 3 inches wide being torn off. In about fifteen days it thickens in the furrow down which it runs, hardening on exposure to the air, usually in the form of round or oval tears, about the size of a pigeon's egg, but sometimes in vermicular forms, white or red, according to whether the species is a white or red gum tree. About the middle of December, the Moors commence the harvesting. The masses of gum are collected, either while adhering to the bark, or after it falls to the ground, the entire product, often of various species, thus collected, is packed in baskets and very large sacks of tanned leather and brought on camels and bullocks to the centers of accumulation and then to the points of export, chiefly Suakin, Alexandria, or - in Senegambia - St. Louis. It is then known as 'Acacia sorts,' the term being equivalent to 'unsorted Acacia.' The unsorted gums show the widest variation as to size of fragments, whiteness, clearness, freedom from adhering matter, etc. It is next sorted or 'picked' in accordance with these differences. There are many kinds of Acacia Gum in commerce: