Prebiotic Type Spotlight: Acacia Fiber

Last updated June 2023

Each edition of GPA’s Prebiotic Spotlight focuses on a specific prebiotic type to raise awareness around the prebiotic itself, its sources, any notable and/or recent research, and how it is used in the marketplace. In this issue, acacia fiber is highlighted.

Acacia fiber is a non-viscous, fermentable dietary fiber that is obtained from the branches of Acacia senegal and A. seyal trees as a water-soluble exudate (Al-Jubori et al., 2023). It is an arabinogalactan-protein complex containing macro-polysaccharides, a small amount of protein, traces of phytoconstituents such as flavonoids, saponins, polyphenolic tannins, and others, and salts of Arabic acid with calcium, magnesium, and potassium (Ashour et al., 2022). Acacia fiber is nondigestible in the human body but fermentable by the large intestine’s microbiota, consequently modulating the resident taxa, specifically bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) (Calame et al., 2008; Cherbut et al., 2003; Daguet et al., 2015).

Acacia fiber is among the oldest and most well-known natural gums, with its usage dating back 5,000 years (Patel & Goyal, 2015). Today, acacia fiber is a functional ingredient used in human food, animal feed, and various other industries.

Benefit Areas
With thousands of years of traditional use and over 15 years of research into its prebiotic potential, acacia fiber has demonstrated various health benefits, including:

  • Modulating the gut microbiome towards health and wellness as demonstrated in nonclinical and clinical trials (Calame et al., 2008; Cherbut et al., 2003; Rawi et al., 2021).
  • Improving gut conditions such as constipation and diarrhea (Al-Jubori et al., 2023; Ali et al., 2013).
  • Reducing body mass index and body fat percentage (Babiker et al., 2012).
  • Improving cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and dyslipidemia (Al-Jubori et al., 2023; Jarrar et al., 2021; Larson et al., 2021; Mohamed et al., 2015).
  • Improving biochemical factors related to type 2 diabetes mellitus (Babiker et al., 2017; Nasir et al., 2016).
  • Managing malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months (Omer & Hilali, 2016).
  • Improving plaque and gingivitis (Gafar et al., 2022).
  • Exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects in sickle cell anemia (Al-Jubori et al., 2023; Kaddam & Kaddam, 2020).
  • Conferring hepatic and renal protective effects, including uric acid and liver enzyme reduction (Al-Jubori et al., 2023; Hasheim et al., 2021; Kamal et al., 2021).

Acacia fiber is obtained naturally as a dried gummy exudate from incising the stems and stem branches of the A. senegal and A. seyal trees commonly found in Sudan, Chad, and Nigeria (Al-Jubori et al., 2023; Ashour et al., 2022). The raw gum is processed mechanically into kibbled gum (small particles) or mechanical powder (by milling), at which point, it is spray-dried into microbiologically stable, food-grade, powder (Morouj, 2017). Although similar in appearance, the gummy exudate from A. seyal has higher friability than A. senegal derived exudate (Ashour et al., 2022; Morouj, 2017).


Dose Range
Acacia fiber is commonly found in powder form, with prebiotic efficacy demonstrated at 10 g/day (Calame et al., 2008; Cherbut et al., 2003). Most published studies report a daily dose of acacia fiber between 5 g and 30 g used for up to 3 months with no safety or tolerability concerns (Al-Jubori et al., 2023; Cherbut et al., 2003; Larson et al., 2021). In the 1970s, the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeled acacia fiber as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and more recently as dietary fiber (FDA, 2021). EFSA also released an opinion letter on acacia fiber’s safe use as a feed additive and food additive for animals and humans, respectively, including its use in food for infants below 16 weeks of age (EFSA, 2017; EFSA, 2019; FEEDAP, 2022).

Recent Research
Currently, four studies on are recruiting to use acacia fiber, either as the intervention in chronic kidney disease (CKD) or as a placebo or comparator intervention with metformin, propolis extract, and 2′-fucosyllactose in obesity and insulin resistance, upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), respectively (, 2023). Moreover, searching “acacia gum” and “acacia fiber” on PubMed retrieved 94 and 9 results published this year, respectively, highlighting various applications of acacia fiber such as diabetes, infertility, dental caries, and others (PubMed, 2023a; PubMed, 2023b). A study by Gafar et al. (2022) studied the effect of acacia fiber on clinical plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), and immunological (gingival crevicular fluid interleukin 1 beta (GCF IL-1 β)) parameters in patients with plaque-induced gingivitis. A statistically significant reduction was reported in mean GI scores after 30 days, mean PI scores at 30- and 60-days, and GCF IL-1 β after 60 days compared to placebo. Subjects applied a half teaspoon of the powder to the buccal surfaces of gingival areas before rinsing with water twice daily. A proprietary study by Bongartz et al. (2022) assessed the effects of one treatment of 0, 20, and 40 g of acacia fiber on post-prandial glucose (PPG) and post-prandial insulin (PPI) levels in normal and overweight individuals. A statistically significant reduction was reported for PPI concentration at all time points, and for PPG concentration at various time points, with both 20 and 40 g acacia fiber. The safety and tolerability of acacia fiber were demonstrated in this study. Another proprietary study by JanssenDuijghuijsan et al. (2023) demonstrated that a 4-week supplementation with 10 g/day of acacia fiber significantly improved stool frequency compared to placebo without impacting normal stool consistency in IBS patients with predominant constipation complaints (manuscript submitted for peer-review).

How is acacia fiber used in the marketplace?
Acacia fiber applications are wide and versatile, spanning the food, pharmaceutical, paint, textile, and printing industries (Patel & Goyal, 2015). It is commonly used as a thickening or emulsifying agent or incorporated into beverages and foods to increase their fiber content (Larson et al., 2021).

In the food industry, acacia fiber is used as a carrier, stabilizer, texturizer, emulsifier, and binder in various food formulations, including ice creams, jellies, candies, soft drinks, beverages, syrups, and chewing gums (Patel & Goyal, 2015). In baked goods, it is used for regulating the moisture content for its water regulation properties, helping with the preservation of these products and extending their shelf-life (Ashour et al., 2022).

In the pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical industries, it is used to coat pills and lozenges and formulate creams and lotions, respectively. Due to its binding properties, it is used in lithography, printing, and watercolor paints (Patel & Goyal, 2015). Lastly, acacia fiber is showing promise in nanotechnology and nanoformulation-based drug delivery (Al-Jubori et al., 2023).

The global acacia fiber market was recorded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2016-2021 to reach almost $900 million USD in 2022 and is expected to grow at a rate of 7.2% CAGR between 2022-2023 to reach $1.797 billion USD (Future Market Insights, 2022). 

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Al-Jubori, Y., Ahmed, N. T. B., Albusaidi, R., Madden, J., Das, S., & Sirasanagandla, S. R. (2023). The Efficacy of Gum Arabic in Managing Diseases: A Systematic Review of Evidence-Based Clinical Trials. Biomolecules, 13(1), 138.

Ali, M., Sabir, O.M., Osman, M.Z., & Gadour, E. (2013). Gum Arabic in treatment of functional constipation in children in Sudan.

Ashour, M. A., Fatima, W., Imran, M., Ghoneim, M. M., Alshehri, S., & Shakeel, F. (2022). A Review on the Main Phytoconstituents, Traditional Uses, Inventions, and Patent Literature of Gum Arabic Emphasizing Acacia seyal. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(4), 1171.

Babiker, R., Elmusharaf, K., Keogh, M. B., Banaga, A. S., & Saeed, A. M. (2017). Metabolic effect of Gum Arabic (acacia senegal) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): Randomized, placebo controlled double blind trial. Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 7(3), 219–231.

Babiker, R., Merghani, T. H., Elmusharaf, K., Badi, R. M., Lang, F., & Saeed, A. M. (2012). Effects of Gum Arabic ingestion on body mass index and body fat percentage in healthy adult females: two-arm randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial. Nutrition journal, 11, 111.

Bongartz, U., Erlenbeck, C., & Wohlfahrt, I. (2022). The Effect of Gum Acacia on Post-Prandial Glucose and Insulin Levels in Healthy Subjects. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 13, 424-438.

Calame, W., Weseler, A. R., Viebke, C., Flynn, C., & Siemensma, A. D. (2008). Gum arabic establishes prebiotic functionality in healthy human volunteers in a dose-dependent manner. The British journal of nutrition, 100(6), 1269–1275.

Cherbut, C., Michel, C., Raison, V., Kravtchenko, T., & Severine, M. (2003). Acacia gum is a bifidogenic dietary fibre with high digestive tolerance in healthy humans. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 15(1), 43–50. Retrieved on 2023 Apr 27. Available from:

Daguet, D., Pinheiro, I., Verhelst, A., Possemiers, S., & Marzorati, M. (2015). Acacia gum improves the gut barrier functionality in vitro. AGRO FOOD INDUSTRY HI-TECH, 26(4), 29–33.

EFSA. (2017). Re-evaluation of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive. Retrieved on 2023 May 25. Available from:

EFSA. (2019). Opinion on the re‐evaluation of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive in foods for infants below 16 weeks of age and the follow‐up of its re‐evaluation as a food additive for uses in foods for all population groups. Retrieved on 2023 May 25. Available from:

EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP), Bampidis, V., Azimonti, G., Bastos, M. L., Christensen, H., Dusemund, B., Fašmon Durjava, M., Kouba, M., López-Alonso, M., López Puente, S., Marcon, F., Mayo, B., Pechová, A., Petkova, M., Ramos, F., Sanz, Y., Villa, R. E., Woutersen, R., Brantom, P., Svensson, K., … Innocenti, M. (2022). Safety and efficacy of a feed additive consisting of acacia gum (gum Arabic) for all animal species (A.I.P.G. Association for International Promotion of Gums). EFSA journal. European Food Safety Authority, 20(4), e07252.

FDA. FDA Grants Citizen Petition on Acacia (Gum Arabic) as a Dietary Fiber. Retrieved on 2023 May 03. Available from:

Future Market Insights. Gum Arabic Market Snapshot (2022-2032). Retrieved on 2023 Apr 28. Available from:

Gafar, A. M., Ramadan, A. M., ElSaid, N. A., & Nurelhuda, N. M. (2022). Effect of Gum Arabic on plaque-induced gingivitis: A randomised controlled trial. The Saudi dental journal, 34(6), 494–502.

Hasheim, A. S., Awad, M. H., & Soleiman, M. A. (2021). Physicochemical Studies on Acacia Senegal Gum, and Their Effect on Uric Acid Levels in Gout Patients. IOSR Journal of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 26(5), 01-08.

JanssenDuijghuijsen, L., van den Belt, M., Rijnaarts I., Vos P., Guillement D., & de Wit, N. Prebiotic or probiotic supplements to retrieve gastrointestinal complaints in patients with constipation-predominant IBS: A 4-week randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled intervention trial (Manuscript submitted for peer-review – Clinical study registered on – NCT04798417).

Jarrar, A. H., Stojanovska, L., Apostolopoulos, V., Feehan, J., Bataineh, M. F., Ismail, L. C., & Al Dhaheri, A. S. (2021). The Effect of Gum Arabic (Acacia Senegal) on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Adults at Risk of Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Nutrients, 13(1), 194.

Kaddam, L. A., & Kaddam, A. S. (2020). Effect of Gum Arabic (Acacia senegal) on C-reactive protein level among sickle cell anemia patients. BMC research notes, 13(1), 162.

Kamal, E., Kaddam, L. A., Alagib, A., & Saeed, A. (2021). Dietary Fibers (Gum Arabic) Supplementation Modulates Hepatic and Renal Profile Among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Phase II Trial. Frontiers in nutrition, 8, 552049.

Larson, R., Nelson, C., Korczak, R., Willis, H., Erickson, J., Wang, Q., & Slavin, J. (2021). Acacia Gum Is Well Tolerated While Increasing Satiety and Lowering Peak Blood Glucose Response in Healthy Human Subjects. Nutrients, 13(2), 618.

Mohamed, R. E., Gadour, M. O., & Adam, I. (2015). The lowering effect of Gum Arabic on hyperlipidemia in Sudanese patients. Frontiers in physiology, 6, 160.

Morouj. Where does Gum Arabic come from? Retrieved on 2023 May 25. Available from:

Nasir, O., Babiker, S., Salim, A.M. (2016). Protective Effect of Gum Arabic Supplementation for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and its Complications. International journal of multidisciplinary and current research, 4.

Omer, D. A. M. A., & Hilali, F. M. A. (2016). Effect of Gum Arabic in Management of Malnourished Children Aged 6 – 59 Months. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare, 6, 24.

Patel, S., & Goyal, A. (2015). Applications of Natural Polymer Gum Arabic: A Review. International Journal of Food Properties, 18(5), 986-998.

PubMed (a). Acacia gum. Retrieved on 2023 May 03. Available from:

PubMed (b). Acacia fiber. Retrieved on 2023 May 08. Available from:

Rawi, M. H., Abdullah, A., Ismail, A., & Sarbini, S. R. (2021). Manipulation of Gut Microbiota Using Acacia Gum Polysaccharide. ACS omega, 6(28), 17782–17797.