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Gum. Any of a group of colloidal polysaccharides (q.v.) of plant origin that are gelatinous (q.v.) when moist, but harden on drying. They are exuded by plants, or extracted from them by solvents (q.v.), and are either soluble in, or swell up and form a viscid mass with, water. They are widely used as moisture stabilizers (q.v.) and viscosity (q.v.) control agents in food systems.