Bassora Gum

Bassora Gum. Caramania Gum. Hog Gum. India Gum. False Tragacanth. Kutera Gum.—This substance came into commerce originally from the neighborhood of Bassora, on the Gulf of Persia; but is often found mixed with gum brought from other countries, and is said to be the product of the almond and plum trees. It is in irregular pieces, about the same size as tragacanth, brown or yellow, intermediate in the degree of its transparency between gum arabic and tragacanth, inodorous, tasteless, and possessed of the property of yielding a slight sound when broken under the teeth. Only a small portion of it is soluble in water, whether hot or cold. The remainder swells Up considerably, though less than tragacanth, and does not, like that substance, form a gelatinous mass, as it consists of independent granules which have little cohesion. The soluble portion is pure gum or arabin, and, according to Guerin, constitutes 11.2 per cent. The insoluble portion consists of bassorin, associated with a small proportion of saline substances, which yield, when the gum is burnt, 5.6 per cent. of ash. The gum is employed to adulterate tragacanth, and for this purpose is sometimes whitened by means of white lead, which can readily be detected, however. It is frequently used as a filler and thickener in the manufacture of certain food products, as cheap ice creams.

The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.