A.F. Suter and Co. Ltd

Shellac, Waxes, Gums and Resins

Category: Binding Agents


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.


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.


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.


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, personal care products, 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.


A.F. Suter is a leading UK supplier, retailer, wholesaler, distributor, importer and exporter of high quality Shellac, Waxes, Natural GumsResins, Menthol Crystals and Zein.

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