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Ghatti is a gum derived from the sap of Anogeissus latifolia, commonly known as the Axlewood tree, which is native to India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The raw gum exudes from the bark and hardens in the sun, forming glossy off-white to brown tear-shaped droplets.
Ghatti is sold in the form of a powder that varies from off-white to brown depending on the level of purification, with the higher grades generally appearing lighter than the lower grades. It is a natural polysaccharide that has a neutral taste and is almost odourless. Ghatti is up to 90% soluble in water and forms a colloidal dispersion that is highly viscous at concentrations of around 3–5%. It is a good emulsifier and acts as a buffer against small amounts of acid or alkali, maintaining a pH of around 4.8. Ghatti is sometimes used as a substitute for Gum Arabic.
Ghatti is used as a stabiliser for butter and other dairy products. It is also used in baking as an ingredient in cakes.
Ghatti is used to stabilise vitamin powders.
Ghatti is used in lacquers, varnishes and oil-based coatings.
Ghatti is used for calico printing.
Ghatti is used as sizing in paper.
Ghatti is used as a stabiliser in automobile polish, and as a moisture barrier to prevent water damage to explosives.
The Oil industry uses Ghatti to prevent the loss of fluid in oil well drilling mud and as an emulsifier to mix petroleum with non-petroleum waxes.
In the Personal Care industry, Ghatti is used as a stabiliser of oil-water emulsions and lotions.