Gum Karaya

Gum Karaya also known as Indian tragacanth is obtained from Indian plantations of Sterculia urens. It is the dried exudate of the Sterculia Urens tree of the Sterculiaceae family. It occurs naturally as a complex, partially acetylated, branched polysaccharide of high molecular weight. It contains about 37% uronic acid residues and approximately 8% acetyl groups.

Gum Karaya is a calcium and magnesium salt, with a central chain of D-galactose, L-rhamnose and D-galacturonic acid units, with some side chains containing D-glucuronic acid. The main crop of Karaya Starts from mid December and it continues till mid June.The Best Quality Gum comes in peak summer that is April, May and June. As the atmospheric temperature increases, better quality of Gum Karaya is collected from sterculia urens tree.

It is sorted in following four grades :

HPS White 0.5 % max 1000 cps
No.1 White with slight gray cast 0.75 % max 800 cps
No.2 Light tan 2 % max 400 cps
No.3 Tan 3 % max 300 cps

These grades vary from one another in terms of, colour, solubility, viscosity, BFOM and total ash content.The colour of Gum Karaya varies from white to Tan. This variation depends on following factors like storage time, duration it has remained on tree before being picked and the tear to the bark.

  • Used in dental adhesive products.
  • Used as a bulk laxative.
  • As an adhesive for ostomy rings.
  • It is used as a stabilizer for dairy products and frozen desserts.
  • It is used as an acid resistant stabilizer for sherbets, fruit ices and similar low pH products.
  • Colostomy bag fixings is the most common use of gum karaya.
  • Its principal food applications include ice creams, ice pops and salad dressings.
Gum Karaya


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