Emulsifiers, Stabilisers, Thickeners
and Gelling Agents.
Tragacanth or gum tragacanth,is a gummy exudation from the leguminous
shrub Astragalus gummifer and related pulse family plants of
South Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is obtained through
incisions made into the stem of the plant.
Tragacanth is almost insoluble in water but swells in it to
form a stiff gel. It is used as an emulsifying agent, as a component
of pills, hand lotions, and medicinal lubricating jellies, as
a demulcent, and as a sizing material. A gum (sometimes called
Indian tragacanth) from a plant of the sterculia family is sold
as a cheaper substitute.
Used in salad dressings, processed cheese, cream cheese, cottage
cheese, ice cream and icing.
May cause allergic reactions.