Iran’s Tragacanth Gum Exports. Gum tragacanth derived from the plant (Astragalus sp) has a long history of use as a stabilizing, viscosity enhancing agent in food emulsions. The gum is mainly produced in the Middle East, and permitted for food use in the US and Europe.
Gum Tragacanth is known to confer very high viscosities when in aqueous solution, and is described as a complex, highly branched, heterogeneous hydrophilic polysaccharide. The gum contains pectinaceous arabinogalactans and fucose-substituted xylogalacturonans.
The objective of this PhD study were to evaluate tragacanth samples from six species of Iranian Astragalus for their emulsion stabilizing effects and their detailed chemical composition in order to examine any possible correlation between the make-up and the emulsion stabilizing properties of gum tragacanth. Also, enzymatic modification of highly fucose content of tragacanth gum and separation via membrane technique to get different molecular size.
Action and Uses:
Tragacanth is employed in pharmacy as a suspending agent in mixtures containing resinous tinctures and heavy insoluble powders. It can also be to emulsify volatile oils.
Mucilage of tragacanth and compound powder of Tragacanth are used for these purposes. The latter combining the suspending powers of tragacanth and gum acacia, while the starch present tends to prevent agglomeration of the deposit.
The mucilage of tragacanth is an efficient suspending agent for the resins of tincture of jalap and tincture of myrrh; it is also employed instead of gum acacia when substances incompatible with the latter are present.
It is worthy of note that the addition of mucilage of gum acacia to mucilage of tragacanth produces a thinner mixture than the addition of a similar quantity of water. Mucilage of tragacanth is preferred to mucilage of gum acacia for use in lotions for external use.
Tragacanth gum is the sap of the thorny shrub tragacanth, which is a thorny and low-growing shrub. It is mostly found in the mountainous regions of the Middle East. Iran is the highest producer of this tree gum, which is also called Gond Katira in Hindi. This gum is odorless, tasteless, and a water-soluble mixture obtained from the sap of the plant and then dried. The gum of Tragacanth has varied uses, which is not limited to consumption and includes uses in several other industries. It is also an important part of Ayurvedic treatment due to its medicinal properties.