SDRP Journal of Computational Chemistry & Molecular Modelling



Paul A. P. Mamza, David M. Arthur, Aliyu M. Ja\'o




Gum Arabic exudate was collected from Acacia senegal trees around Zaria metropolis, purified in 95% ethanol and its physical and chemical modifications carried out. Physical modification of the gum involved plasticization of the gum with glycerol and ethylene glycol. The chemical method was performed by acid hydrolysis, acetolysis and acetate formation. Appearance of both modifications was observed after three days of drying. Acetic anhydride (AAH), acetolysis (ACT) and ethylene glycol (EGL) modifications became hard and solid, and were ground to powder. Glycerol (GLY) turned very sticky and acid hydrolysis (AHY) turned into a viscous liquid. From characterization of the samples, all modifications were found to be less dense than the pure gum Arabic sample (PGM). AHY sample was found to be more turbid and has the highest conductivity value followed by AAH sample. pH of all samples was found to be below 7.0, indicating acidic nature of the gums. Melting point measurements showed that all test samples have lower melting point values than the pure gum. The viscosities of aqueous dispersions containing different concentrations of pure gum Arabic and that of the modified gums were determined. When concentration was varied for each gum, the viscosities of the solutions increased with increasing concentration. At each concentration the viscosity of AHY is far below that of the other samples, this is attributed to the fact that acid hydrolysis of polysaccharides normally breaks polysaccharides down to their monomers, dimers and some oligosaccharides FTIR spectra of the pure and chemically modified samples were studied. It was found that there were shifts and absorptions at different frequencies, indicating degree of interaction between the gum and the modifying solvents.


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