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Food gums are complex carbohydrates which are derived primarily from plants and used as thickeners, gel forming agents, and/or stabilizing agents in food.  They increase the viscosity and pseudoplasticity (increased flow with applied force) of aqueous solutions.  Food gums are also called hydrocolloids, which means that they are soluble in water (“hydro” means water and “colloid” means dispersion of small particles in another medium).  Food gums help give many of the foods we eat their characteristic shape or consistency.

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