A Sticky Savior? Gum Arabic May Change How We Store Food Forever

Photo credit: Gixie under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Chances are, even if you’ve never heard of it, you use gum arabic every day. The dried tree sap is in everything from soft drinks to common candies like M&Ms—it’s in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, newspaper print, and even shoe polish. But now Asgar Ali, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Postharvest Biotechnology explains his research in giving the gum a new purpose: as an innovative, biodegradable coating that keeps food fresh for up to 20 days without refrigeration.

Special Initiative Fellow Lois Parshley will report on this topic for Mongabay in May of 2015.