Acacia Seyal Gums in Sudan: A review

Sara S. Awad, Ali A. Rabah, Hassan I. Ali, Tarig E. Mahmoud


Historically Acacia seyal gums in the Sudan is ranking as a second important gum product after A. senegal in terms of quantities 10% in average until 2011. Thus the contribution percentages within the last four years (2012-2015) jumped to almost 60% in average. A. seyal trees coverage extend in an area of 36,000 square kilometers (3.6 million ha) in a latitude ranging between 10 to 140North. The distribution of the A.seyal stand is extensively on the clay soil plains where an average rainfall is ranging between 300 to 400 mm. Two infraspecific variants of A. seyal widely distributed in Sudan separated on the basis of the presence and absence of the ant-galls and the colour of the bark. Ant-gall and white colored bark are the characteristics of variety fistula, while the bark of variety of seyal is green or red. Despite the significant contribution of A. seyal in the exports market in the Sudan, farmers have slightly a poor knowledge of post-harvest cultural practices of A. seyal of which proper methods of storage conditions and gum stacking. Nevertheless, this paper is trying to review the existing research in the areas of pre- and post-harvest cultural practices including tree husbandry, tapping, gum collection, handling and storage. Exudation mechanisms (tapping and natural exudation) are also been highlighted coupled with physical and chemical properties of A. seyal (characterization) as well as moisture content, colour, tannins etc., aiming at establishing a clear protocol of the A. seyal tree in the Sudan.

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