Standard Article

Plant Gums

  1. James N BeMiller

Published Online: 25 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0000698



How to Cite

BeMiller, J. N. 2001. Plant Gums. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 APR 2001

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 SEP 2014)


The term gum is commonly applied to water-soluble, nonstarch polysaccharides of commerce; such gums are present in both higher and lower plants. Plant gums and other gums are used in practical applications primarily to thicken or gel aqueous systems and to control water. They may also function as adhesives, crystallization inhibitors, emulsifying agents, emulsion stabilizers, encapsulating agents, film formers, foam stabilizers, suspending agents, suspension stabilizers, or syneresis inhibitors and/or impart other specific properties.


  • hydrocolloids;
  • gums;
  • polysaccharides