Is Gum Arabic Vegan Friendly? (Yes, Here’s Why)

Is Gum Arabic Vegan

Gum arabic, sometimes referred to as acacia gum, is commonly found in processed foods. If you frequently check food labels, you’ve likely seen your fair share of gum arabic in products. If you’re following a vegan lifestyle, you may question whether it’s vegan. 

Gum Arabic is 100% vegan-friendly. It is a plant-based, soluble fiber and natural gum made up of hardened sap from the bark of the acacia tree. In fact, it is an additive of choice in many vegan-friendly products such as ice cream, hard candies, and desserts. The best alternatives are Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum.

In this article, we’ll discuss why gum arabic is vegan, its health benefits and nutrition facts. Let’s dig in!

Why Gum Arabic is Considered Vegan

Gum arabic comes from tree sap from the acacia Senegal tree. Although the acacia Senegal trees are typically found in Sudan, you can also find them in Nigeria, Niger, Kenya, Chad, and Senegal.

The acacia Senegal tree is thorny, which often makes it difficult to remove the gum arabic. Interestingly, the trees produce more sap when they are exposed to poor soil or environmental conditions. Once the sap begins to bubble up around the tree bark, it is ready to be removed.

Once the workers get the sap, it’s left out to dry in the region’s warm temperatures. From there, most of the dried sap is sent to Europe to be processed and ground into powder.

Gum arabic is completely plant-derived and no animal by-products are used in its processing. It’s 100% vegan-friendly. It’s also non-GMO and safe for those with gluten intolerance.

Benefits of Gum Arabic

  1. Gum arabic has been used in traditional herbal medicine and remains widely used today. It has been used to aid in weight loss, treat irritable bowel syndrome, and more. Since it has a sticky texture, it’s thought to reduce inflammation and irritation associated with a sore throat.
  2. It’s also used in many topical ointments and creams to help wounds heal. Many healthcare providers associate this with chemicals such as glycosides, alkaloids, and flavonoids. 
  3. In fact, an older but comprehensive study from 1992 found that taking 15 grams of acacia gum helped manage cholesterol levels.
  4. Acadia gum has the potential to reduce body fat and help you manage your weight. In one study of 120 women, researchers gave 60 participants 30 grams of gum arabic for six weeks. Researchers gave the other 30 participants one gram of pectin. The study concluded that those who took the gum arabic had more body fat loss compared to the placebo group.
  5. Lately, its use as a prebiotic has been on the rise. This is because when you consume gum arabic it combines with the bacteria in your colon and ferments. Once it’s fermented, it can help feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Is Gum Arabic Bad For You?

When eaten in the small quantities typically found in food, gum arabic is considered to be safe. Most healthcare providers consider up to 30 grams per day to be generally safe. However, it can cause unfavorable gastrointestinal symptoms in some individuals. Minor symptoms associated with gum arabic consumption include gas, abdominal bloating, loose stools, indigestion, and nausea. 

Additionally, some studies report gum arabic may interfere with certain antibiotics, specifically amoxicillin. One study found that the presence of both amoxicillin and gum arabic in the GI tract resulted in a decreased absorption of amoxicillin. The study concluded that those who take amoxicillin should wait four hours before or after the ingestion of gum arabic. 

Fiber gums, including acacia, guar, and xanthan gum, are prohibited for those following the GAPS diet. This is because it can result in increased inflammation and disrupt the gut flora.

As with anything, there are some minor side effects associated with gum arabic consumption. If you believe it is causing unwanted side effects, be sure to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Nutrition Facts for Gum Arabic

There remains debate within the food industry on the Nutrition Facts of gum arabic. As of right now, gum arabic is considered to have less than two calories per gram. Additionally, since it is a soluble fiber, it is not digestible and has little caloric value. 

Although gum arabic is composed of nearly 80% fiber, it is currently not counted as dietary fiber on the nutrition label of foods. This is because the FDA requires non-digestible carbohydrates to show evidence of benefits before manufacturers can add them to a label.  

However, as new evidence emerges, there have been petitions sent to the FDA requesting that they allow gum arabic to count toward fiber content on food labels. 

Earthborn Elements Gum Arabic (Acacia) Powder

Nutrition Facts (100 grams, 3.5 oz):

  • 170 Calories
  • 0g Total Fat
  • 0g Saturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 15mg Sodium
  • 85g Total Carbohydrate
  • 6g Dietary Fiber
  • 0g Total Sugars
  • 2g Protein


  • 100% Pure and Natural Gum Arabic (Acacia)

What is Gum Arabic Used For?

Gum arabic has been popular as a multifunctional ingredient in both foods and non-foods for centuries. During its early years, gum arabic was used in Egypt as part of the mummification process to adhere bandages together. It was also used to stabilize paint, relieve discomfort associated with burns, and bind pigments to ink.

While times have certainly changed, the use of gum arabic remains popular today.

It’s often considered to be an “edible glue” and is used as a natural thickening agent and binder to hold ingredients together. Additionally, many manufacturers use gum arabic to prevent sugar crystallization in foods with high sugar content.

Here are a few foods that contain gum arabic:

  • Soft drinks
  • Canned foods
  • Frozen foods
  • Snacks 
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Nuts
  • Rolled oats
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Sherbet
  • Ice cream
  • Dairy foods
  • Bread
  • Icing
  • Chewing gum
  • Caramel

Gum arabic continues to be a key component in many non-food products as well. Here are some products that contain gum arabic:

  • Paint
  • Ink
  • Glue
  • Incense cones
  • Postage stamps
  • Cigarette paper
  • Shoe polish
  • Adhesives
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Peel-off facial masks

As you can see, gum arabic is commonly found in highly processed foods that are high in sugar. Let’s take a look at the nutrient breakdown of a few popular foods manufactured with gum arabic.

Nutrition Facts for Popular Vegan Foods With Gum Arabic

NadaMoo! Organic Mint Chip Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert

Nutrition Facts (per 2/3 cup):

  • 200 Calories
  • 11g Total Fat
  • 9g Saturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 45mg Sodium
  • 21g Total Carbohydrate
  • 6g Dietary Fiber
  • 13g Total Sugars
  • 6g Added Sugars
  • 1g Protein


  • Organic Coconut Milk
  • Water
  • Organic Agave Syrup
  • Organic Cane Sugar
  • Organic Inulin
  • Organic Tapioca Syrup
  • Organic Chocolate Liquor
  • Organic Cocoa Butter
  • Organic Vanilla Powder
  • Organic Peppermint Oil
  • Organic Rosemary
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Guar Gum
  • Organic Gum Arabic
  • Organic Locust Bean Gum
  • Organic Spirulina Powder

Mentos Curvy Bottle Red Lime Fruit Gum

Nutrition Facts (1 piece):

  • <5 Calories
  • 0g Total Fat
  • 0g Saturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 0mg Sodium
  • 1.5g Total Carbohydrate
  • 0g Dietary Fiber
  • 0g Total Sugars
  • 1.5g Sugar Alcohols
  • 0g Protein


  • Isomalt
  • Chewing Gum Base
  • Sorbitol
  • Maltitol Syrup
  • Fruit Juices 
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Malic Acid
  • Maltitol
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Aspartame
  • Citric Acid
  • Glycerol
  • Gum Arabic
  • Acesulfame K
  • Lecithin (Soy)
  • Coconut Fat
  • Sucrose Fatty Acid Esters
  • Sucralose
  • Blue 1 Lake

So Delicious Dairy-Free Cashew Milk Very Vanilla Frozen Dessert

Nutrition Facts (1 piece):

  • 150 Calories
  • 7g Total Fat
  • 1g Saturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 95mg Sodium
  • 21g Total Carbohydrate
  • <1g Dietary Fiber
  • 18g Total Sugars
  • 2g Protein


  • Cashew milk
  • Cane Sugar
  • Sea Salt
  • Acacia Gum
  • Guar Gum
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Natural Flavor

Alternatives to Gum Arabic

Judee’s Guar Gum Powder

Judee’s Guar Gum Powder 10oz - Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Free & Nut-Free - 100% Pure Guar Gum derived from Guar Beans - Low Carb Thickener - 3g Dietary Fiber per serving - Made in USA Nutrition Facts (per 1 tsp):

  • 10 Calories
  • 0g Total Fat
  • 0g Saturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 0mg Sodium
  • 3g Total Carbohydrate
  • 7g Dietary Fiber
  • 0g Total Sugars
  • 0g Added Sugars
  • 0g Protein


  • 100% Guar Gum

This is an excellent vegan alternative to gum arabic. It’s commonly used as a thickening agent in salad dressings, ice creams, and puddings, soups, and more. Guar gum can also be used as a binding agent in gluten-free baking!

It’s Just – Xanthan Gum

It's Just - Xanthan Gum, 15oz, Keto Baking, Non-GMO, Thickener for Sauces, Soups, Dressings, Packaged in USA Nutrition Facts (per ½ tsp):

  • 5 Calories
  • 0g Total Fat
  • 0g Saturated Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 10mg Sodium
  • 1gTotal Carbohydrate
  • 1gDietary Fiber
  • 0g Total Sugars
  • 0g Added Sugars
  • 0g Protein


  • Xanthan Gum (non-GMO)

Xanthan gum is a good vegan alternative to gum arabic. It’s commonly used as a food stabilizer, binding agent, and thickener. However, if you have a corn sensitivity, it could cause an adverse reaction. Symptoms of a xanthan gum allergy include diarrhea, nausea, and headaches.


Gum arabic is a 100% vegan-approved ingredient that’s commonly used in many foods today. It has quite an impressive amount of potential benefits and very few side effects.  Next time you check the ingredients list on your favorite products, you can rest assured knowing that gum arabic is vegan.

Related Questions

Is Gum Arabic a Carbohydrate?

Yes, gum arabic is a type of carbohydrate. It is a water-soluble, non-digestible carbohydrate and a good source of soluble fiber that may promote a healthy gut function. It also will not contribute to your daily calorie intake since your body cannot digest and absorb it. 

Is Gum Arabic Keto-Friendly?

Yes, although gum arabic is a carbohydrate, it is keto-friendly. This is because our bodies cannot directly extract any calories from it. In fact, many consider gum arabic to be an excellent keto-friendly option because it can ease constipation during the early stages of ketosis. It may also help keep insulin spikes at bay and slow glucose absorption.

Is Gum Arabic Gluten-Free?

Yes. Gum arabic is gluten-free. It’s commonly used in gluten-free food products as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier.

Related Guides

Lindsey DeSoto

Lindsey DeSoto is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based out of Coastal Mississippi. She earned her BSc in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Alabama. Lindsey has a passion for helping others live healthier lives by translating the latest evidence-based research into easy-to-digest, approachable content. When she isn’t writing she enjoys working out and spending time with her children.

Recent Posts