Gum Arabic or Acacia is the dried, gummy exudate from the stems or branches of Acacia Senegal or of related species produces of Acacia. The trees that produce commercial grade of gum Arabic grow primarily in the Sudan and Senegal regions of Africa. The trees are about 4.5-6 meters high and live about 25-30 years. Gum Arabic results from an infection of the trees, which yields the gum only when in an unhealthy condition. To accelerate exudation the bark is cut and the exudate allowed to dry, forming tears which are collected. Gum is collected by hand every 10 days during the dry season, which varies from October to June. The gum is graded visually buy sorting the lumps or tears basically into two grades: the clean amber sorts and hand picked selected gum.
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