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Ingredient:

Gum tragacanth

Gum tragacanth comes from the stems and branches of the flowering plant Astragalus gummifer. The raw gum is made up of a mixture of two polysaccharides. Monosaccharide constituents include galactose, arabinose, xylose, fucose, rhamnose, and galacturonic acid 1. Gum tragacanth has been approved for use in pharmaceuticals in the U.S. since 1820 and in foods since 1925 2. Most gums are believed to be largely degraded in the colon 3. Test tube studies have demonstrated that gum tragacanth can be digested by a number of bacteria that inhabit the human colon, including the beneficial Bifidobacteria species 4,5. Gum tragacanth is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is commonly added to foods (21CFR184.1351).

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:

References

  1. Anderson DM, Howlett JF, McNab CG. The amino acid composition of the proteinaceous component of gum tragacanth (Asiatic Astragalus spp.). Food Addit Contam 1985;2:231-5.
  2. Anderson DM. Evidence for the safety of gum tragacanth (Asiatic Astragalus spp.) and modern criteria for the evaluation of food additives. Food Addit Contam 1989;6:1-12.
  3. Hill MJ. Bacterial fermentation of complex carbohydrate in the human colon. Eur J Cancer Prev 1995;4:353-8.
  4. Crociani F, Alessandrini A, Mucci MM, Biavati B. Degradation of complex carbohydrates by Bifidobacterium spp. Int J Food Microbiol 1994;24:199-210.
  5. Salyers AA, West SE, Vercellotti JR, Wilkins TD. Fermentation of mucins and plant polysaccharides by anaerobic bacteria from the human colon. Appl Environ Microbiol 1977;34:529-33.