Export data and price of tragacanth. Tragacanth gum is a viscous, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble mixture of polysaccharides obtained from sap that is drained from the root of the plant and dried. The gum seeps from the plant in twisted ribbons or flakes that can be powdered. It absorbs water to become a gel, which can be stirred into a paste. The major fractions are known as tragacanthin, highly water soluble as a mucilaginous colloid, and the chemically related bassorin, which is far less soluble but swells in water to form a gel.
Research on Gum Tragacanth:
Gum tragacanth (GT), a highly acid-resistant hydrocolloid, has been accepted since 1961 as GRAS at the level of 0.2–1.3 % (Anderson and Bridgeman 1985) and it has anti-tumour properties and can stimulate the immune response too. It is pourable and has a creamy mouth feel and good flavor-release properties and very long shelf life. Because of its high acid stability, the gum is well suited for use in the low pH products.
It consists of two main fractions: a water-insoluble component called bassorin, which has the capacity to swell and form a gel, and a water-soluble component called tragacanthin.
Tragacanth is low-growing, thorny shrubs that are native to the mountainous regions of the Middle East. Gum tragacanth is obtained by tapping the branches and tap roots. The gum dries as it exudes and is collected rapidly.
Physicochemical Properties of Tragacanth:
Physicochemical properties of gum tragacanth have been recently established, only a few studies have dealt with the viscoelastic behavior of gum tragacanth.
According to FDA Code of Federal Regulations, title 21 (2003), maximum usage levels of gum tragacanth permitted is 0.2 % in meat products as formulation aid and stabilizer/thickener.
The gum is used in fruit tablets, gum drops, and pastilles as a binding agent during compression. Gum tragacanth is a viscous soluble fiber obtained from the seeds of legume plants of genus Astragalus, grown mainly in Iran.
It is an indigestible carbohydrate, a mixture of various polysaccharides. Gum tragacanth may be used as a thickener and emulsifier in dairy products, frozen desserts, jams and other foods.
It is also used as a soothing agent (demulcent) in cough syrups, toothpastes and denture adhesives.