Last updated: 02 November 2010

In this week's Science Cafe Adam Walton visits the Glyn O. Phillips Hydrocolloids Research Centre at Glyndŵr University in Wrexham.

Broadcast Tuesday 2nd November 7 PM.

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acacia gum in pestle & mortar

Adam meets Dr Saphwan Al-Assaf, the director of the research centre, who explains how hydrocolloids are natural, and can be found in various sources around the world, including gums from acacia trees, seaweed and citrus peel. They are used as thickening and stabilising agents in many food including fizzy drinks, salad dressings and jams.

Adam also meets research student Edward Mugo from Kenya, who explains the process of preparing the raw, dried gum from trees for chemical testing.

Professor Glyn O Phillips joins the programme by phone from West Sumatra, where he is attending a conference, on his way to Wuhan in China for the opening of a new hydrocolloids research centre. The centre opens this week at Hubei University of Technology and will have its research directed from Glyndŵr

We also hear from research students about projects analysing the natural variations in acacia gums, and how hydrocolloid based hydrogels can improve wound healing in medical dressings.


Glyndwr hydrocolloids research extends to China

Glyn O.Phillips Hydrocolloids Research Centre

Wikipedia article on Gum Arabic

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