Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Oct 9, 2018 19:54:10 GMT 1
Gum Arabic also referred to as Acacia gum, is a natural gum that has similar characteristics like natural rubber and is composed of hardened sap of various species of the acacia tree.
It takes about 4-5years to mature, and when it finally does, just like the process of collecting latex from rubber tree, the tree is pierced or cut with a sharp metal from the source of the gum to bring out whitish sticky sparkling substances which is collected and processed for desirable use.
It is a perennial tree and is mostly found growing wild in large commercial quantity in the northern parts of Nigeria.
Polysaccharides and glycoproteins are the primary compositions of Gum Arabic.
The raw gum has high commercial value both locally and internationally. Nigeria is the 2nd largest producer of the crop in the world after Sudan with average production of 20,000 metric tonnes of all grades of Gum Arabic. Some of the Gum Arabic producing states in Nigeria include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa ,Niger and Zamfara. Though Borno and Yobe states are the major producers in Nigeria.
There are many species worldwide. However Acacia Senegal and Acacia Seyal are the most commercially exploited species. Nigeria has three grades of Gum Arabic;
Acacia Senegal (grade 1)
Acacia Seyal (Grade 2) and
Combretum (Grade 3).
Gum Arabic is harvested during the dry season because during the rainy season, no gum is formed since the trees are in full bloom. The dry season lasts from October to June and the gum is collected every 10 days during this period. After collection, the gum is brought from the farms and stands to villages from there it’s transported to market.
The gum has binding or adhesive properties and as such is used as a good emulsifying agent. It is therefore most useful to pharmaceutical, food, and beverages, flavourings, dairy and ice cream, cosmetics and the confectionary industry.
In food products, it serves as a stabilizer, emulsifier, and binding agent for chewing gums, ice creams and jams.
In pharmaceuticals, the gum is a binder in iozenges, tablets, pills, throat pastilles and cough drops.
In textile industry it is used for fabric stiffening and as a binder for textile printing gums; it is also used in the plastic industry.
In miscellaneous industries it is used in producing ink, water colours, paints, carbon papers, pottery glaces etc.
However, the main use of gum arabic remains in confectionery, hard gums, soft gum and gum pastilles.
The countries with the largest food and drink industries are also the largest markets for acacia gum. Acacia gum is widely used for similar applications in different European countries.
As an exporter, you can attract European buyers by guaranteeing stable supplies of high-quality Gum Arabic. Reliability of supplies is the main concern for European food and drink manufacturers. To reduce dependency on traditional suppliers, they are looking for more and different sources of the product.
European demand for Gum Arabic is steadily increasing. In the past few years, demand has increased by an estimated 2.5% annually. Major drivers behind the growth include new product development and substitution of synthetic thickeners.
The major markets for the product are Belgium, China, USA, U.K and Japan.
In conclusion, investment opportunities exist for Gum Arabic in Nigeria and abroad, contact us for Gum Arabic production (Gum Arabic Farming), processing, packaging, storage and export.