E 414 Acacia gum – EU specification

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 231/2012 of 9 March 2012


Gum arabic


Acacia gum is a dried exudation obtained from the stems and branches of strains of Acacia senegal (L) Willdenow or closely related species of Acacia (family Leguminosae). It consists mainly of high molecular weight polysaccharides and their calcium, magnesium and potassium salts, which on hydrolysis yield arabinose, galactose, rhamnose and glucuronic acid

Einecs:  232-519-5

Chemical name:

Chemical formula:

Molecular weight: Approximately 350 000



Unground acacia gum occurs as white or yellowish-white spheroidal tears of varying sizes or as angular fragments and is sometimes mixed with darker fragments. It is also available in the form of white to yellowish-white flakes, granules, powder or spray-dried material.


Solubility 1 g dissolves in 2 ml of cold water forming a solution which flows readily and is acid to litmus, insoluble in ethanol


Loss on drying Not more than 17 % (105 °C, 5 hours) for granular and not more than 10 % (105 °C, 4 hours) for spray-dried material

Total ash: Not more than 4 %

Acid insoluble ash: Not more than 0,5 %

Acid insoluble matter: Not more than 1 %

Starch or dextrin: Boil a 1 in 50 solution of the gum and cool. To 5 ml add 1 drop of iodine solution. No bluish or reddish colours are produced

Tannin: To 10 ml of a 1 in 50 solution add about 0,1 ml of ferric chloride solution (9 g FeCl 3 .6H 2 O made up to 100 ml with water). No blackish colouration or blackish precipitate is formed

Arsenic: Not more than 3 mg/kg

Lead: Not more than 2 mg/kg

Mercury:  Not more than 1 mg/kg

Cadmium: Not more than 1 mg/kg

Hydrolysis products: Mannose, xylose and galacturonic acid are absent (determined by chromatography)

Microbiological criteria:

Salmonella spp.: Absent in 10 g

Escherichia coli: Absent in 5 g