Binding Agents

Definition

A binding agent (or binder) is a substance that holds or draws other materials together mechanically, chemically or as an adhesive, to form a cohesive whole.

Source

Organic binders include gums made by boiling plants and glues made by the boiling the hooves, bones, or skin of animals. Some natural bio-adhesives are also made from organic sources such as natural resins.

Properties

Liquid binders are added to a dry substance in order to draw it together in such a way that it maintains a uniform consistency, transforming the mixture into a more solid structure. For example, Xanthan and Guar gums are plant-derived powders used as binding agents in gluten-free baking as replacements for the binding action of gluten, or in vegan cooking to replace eggs. When they are added to water, it becomes more viscous and gummy. Their binding properties are activated when mixed with other ingredients, such as flour.

Uses

Some of the main binding agents are shown below, along with examples of the kind of applications they are commonly used for.

Product

Type

Examples of Use

Accroides

Resins

Binder in fireworks and flares.

Candelilla

Wax

Binder in chewing gum.

Guar

Gums

Binder in baking, meat and tablets.

Gum Arabic

Gums

Binder in baking, cosmetics, incense, photography, watercolour paints, ceramic glazes and fireworks.

Karaya

Gums

Binder in baking and paper manufacturing.

Shellac

Shellac

Binder in mascara, eyeliners, fireworks and pyrotechnics.

Tragacanth

Gums

Binder in icing, tablets, incense and pastel paints.

Xanthan

Gums

Binder in baking, laxatives and toothpaste.


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