Gum tragacanth is gummy dried exudation which is extracted from Astragalus gummifer or other species of Astragalus. Astragalus gummifer is a small bushy perennial shrub having large roots, which, along with the branches, are tapped for the extraction of the gum tragacanth. The gum tragacanth is extracted from the roots and branches in the form of flaxes or ribbons, which after drying gets brittle. The properties of gum tragacanth include effective emulsifying properties, stability to heat and acidity, suspending action, high viscosity at low concentration, and extremely long shelf life. These properties make gum tragacanth a versatile ingredient used in various industrial sectors. Gum tragacanth is used in the pharmaceutical industry in medicinal lotions, emulsions, syrups, ointments, jellies, salves, and creams as an emulsifier, thickener, and lubricant. Gum tragacanth is used in the emulsions of cod liver oil, to assist the absorption of lesser soluble substances. In cosmetics and personal care products, gum tragacanth finds broad application. Gum tragacanth is used in hair care and skin care products due to its long shelf life and film-forming properties. Also, gum tragacanth acts as like a suspending agent in kinds of toothpaste to form a creamy product. In the food and beverage industry, gum tragacanth is used as an emulsifier, thickener, stabilizer, and texturant due to its relative stability to acidity, heat, and aging. Gum tragacanth has been used in textile print paste and sizes for high-quality silks and crepes. It is also used in dressing leather and the preparation of leather polishes. Besides, gum tragacanth is used in floor, furniture, and auto polishes. Furthermore, it is used in adhesive for reconstructed cigar wrapper leaves. The broader use of gum tragacanth in several industrial application is thus anticipated to witness a growing demand over the forecast period.
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