Studies on some Physicochemical Properties of the Plant Gum Exudates of Acacia senegal (Dakwara), Acacia sieberiana (Farar Kaya) and Acacia nilotica (Bagaruwa)
The physicochemical properties of gum exudates from three Acacia tree species (A. senegal, A. sieberiana and A. nilotica) in Batagarawa, Katsina State, were determined and compared. Data generated from the study confirm that there are a number of physicochemical differences between the gum exudates. Physicochemical properties vary among the three samples studied within the following ranges: moisture (13.40-16.20%); water solubility at 300C (38-45%); pH of 25% solution (4.50-5.00); relative density of 20% solution (300C) (1.23- 1.32); melting temperature (289-3200C); relative viscosity of 1% solution (20.18-24.80); total ash (3.30- 3.54%); nitrogen (0.38-0.42%); protein (2.51-2.77%) and total soluble fibre (77.99-80.41%). Analysis of all the samples showed no tannin content. Determined cationic composition of the gum samples shows calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), sodium (Na) and potassium (K) as the predominant minerals. Copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) were not detected by this study. Despite the physicochemical differences among the samples studied, values of physicochemical parameters obtained compare well with those reported in previous studies on Acacia gums in many parts of the world. There is great potential for the exploitation and application of these gums industrially.
Keywords: Physicochemical properties; gum; Acacia species; Batagarawa