Scientific name: Astralagus gummifer

Tragacanth is a natural gum .Iran is the biggest producer of the best quality of this gum..The gum seeps from the plant in twisted ribbons or flakes which can be powdered.It absorbs water to become a gel, which can be stirred into a paste.Gum tragacanth is a viscous, odorless, tasteless, water-soluble mixture of polysaccharides obtained from sap ,which is drained from the root of the plant and dried. The gum seeps from the plant in twisted ribbons or flakes which can be powdered.

Gum tragacanth is the dried gum exuded by the stem elements of Astragalus gummifer or other Asiatic species of Astragalus. This plant is a small, low, bushy perennial shrub characterized by a relatively large tap root, which, along with the branches, is tapped for the gum.
The plants grow wild in certain sections of Asia Minor and in the arid and mountainous regions of Iran, Syria and Turkey. However, Iran is the best commercial source and supplies the highest quality gum. The gum exudes spontaneously from breaks or wounds inflicted in the bark of the shrubs. The exudate of gum is in the form of ribbon or flake, which becomes brittle on drying. The collection season extends from May to September for ribbons and from August to  November for flakes.  After collection, the gum is sorted by hand into various grades of ribbons and flakes.


The various grades of gum received are prepared for marketing.  The process includes grading, cleaning, milling, sizing and blending for specific viscosities to meet particular customer requirements. Quality control of viscosity and mesh specifications is of utmost importance in producing uniform gums for industry. To assure customer satisfaction, the gum is further processed to conform to sterility standards when required.

Physical Characteristics

Powdered ribbon gum tragcanth is white to light yellow in color, while powdered flake gum is yellowish white to tan.  The gum is odorless and has an insipid taste.


Gum tragacanth swells rapidly in either cold or hot water to form highly viscous colloidal sols or semi-gels, which act as protective colloids and stabilizing agents. The water solubility of gum tragacanth results form carboxyl group, which as salts have strong solubilizing action. Gum tragacanth is insoluble in alcohol and other organic solvents. It can tolerate low percentages of alcohol or glycols when in water solution.

Uses Of Gum Tragacanth

The uses of gum tragacanth depend on its action as an effective emulsifying and suspending agent with an extremely long shelf life and stability to heat and acidity.

Food Salad Dressings:-

Because of its relative stability to heat, acidity and aging, gum tragacanth is used as a thickener and stabilizer in pourable salad dressings of the regular and low calorie types.

 Sauces And Condiments:-

Used for stabilization and emulsification as well as acid resistance and long shelf life.

Bakery Emulsion And Toppings:-

Used as an emulsifier and thickening agent.  In fruit fillings it serves as a thickener or suspending agent and forms a creamy filling with good shine, transparency and long shelf life.

Flavor Syrups:-

Used to increase viscosity and provide a mixture, which is stable and is applied in most preparations of flavor oil with water.


Used as a binder in the manufacturing of candy cigarettes and lozenges.


Gum tragacanth is used in a variety of medicinal emulsion mixtures, jellies and creams as an excellent suspending and emulsifying agent.


Used as a suspending agent in various toothpaste to form a creamy and brilliant product.  Its long shelf life and film forming properties make it useful in hair lotions hand lotions and creams.

The gum is used in vegetable-tanned leatherworking as an edge slicking and burnishing compound, and is occasionally used as a stiffener in textiles.This gum also uses in medicine, cosmetic , ink ,and paper industries.This plant contains tetra – Gakantine which is solved in water and Basurine which is not solved in water and when exposed to water it's being gum. 
The alkaloid it contains has historically been used as an herbal remedy for such conditions as cough and diarrhea. As a mucilage or paste, it has been used as a topical treatment for burns.

It is used in pharmaceuticals and foods as an emulsifier, thickener, stabilizer, and texturant additive . Also, it is the traditional binder used in the making of artists' pastels as it does not adhere to itself the same way other gums (such as gum arabic) do when dry. Gum tragacanth is also used to make a paste used in floral sugarcraft to create lifelike flowers on wires used as decorations for cakes. It makes a paste which air-dries brittle and can take colorings. It enables users to get a very fine, delicate finish to their work. Additionally, it has traditionally been used as an adhesive in the cigar-rolling process used to secure the cap or "flag" leaf to the finished cigar body, and to make pastels.

Habitat: IRAN middle part

Product Code: 207   

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